Up, Up and HOLD

You would think the Airline industry would be the leaders in adopting Cloud Services as they spend the majority of their time in the clouds…)

I had the rare opportunity to be upgraded to 1st class on a recent trip to FL.  Wow, what an experience; warm wash towels; drinks and food; even our own bathroom…   (Can I actually go back to those claustrophobic seats in coach…not willingly for sure..)

Anyway, aside from the warm wash towels; I got a bird’s eye view of the entire flight’s on-boarding and readiness procedures.   The process was going fine; so well that it appeared we may even close the cabin doors and push off for an early departure!

But, then it happened — the plane’s flashlight didn’t turn on during the pre-flight check.  Okay, a flashlight mal-function, certainly that couldn’t be a huge deal; 5 minutes at tops and we would be on our way.

Unbeknownst to me, replacing a flashlight battery is a pretty monumental event in the airline industry.

Here is what it took to change that lone battery.

First maintenance had to be called.

Then the one maintenance person on duty for the entire terminal had to find his way over to our gate (just kidding, there may be 2).

Next, the flashlight is taken to the special area for flashlights and the battery is replaced.

Okay all is good, still not terribly behind.

But who would know that replacing the battery was the easy part. The tough part was manually reporting the battery replacement event in the manual reports.  For whatever reason; that step took another 20 minutes.

So, roughly 35 minutes to change a battery. The worse part however is we missed our take off window and sat another 30 minutes waiting for our turn again.

Think about if the Airline had used Cloud services. All inventory of equipment such as flashlights could be stored on line; including when they received their latest “updates”; i.e. batteries.  The cloud application could send alerts to Maintenance on required replacements with a lead time so the work could be performed during maintenance windows, thus alleviating delays such as I experienced. And, someday the flashlight could even contain a digital chip that would send an alert to the maintenance desk and Cloud application.

Okay so maybe one delayed flight is not a big deal, but if you multiply that by the thousands of daily flights; the delays from replacing batteries could add up in terms of wasted fuel and customer on-time arrival satisfaction metrics.

What other business processes could benefit from moving to the Cloud?  We look forward to hearing from you.
Amy Machi Director of Offer Development AT&T About Amy