A year ago, we founded SMOOSS with a team of airline and tech guys. Our product was helping airlines to better manage full flights by reducing the number of denied boarding customers and increasing up-sell potential.
At the beginning of 2020, we were on track with our roadmap
👉 We had our two first partners
👉 We were in discussion with 6 airlines and answering 4 RFPs
👉 Our products usage was growing
In one week, all the airlines we were in discussion with stopped the process due to the Covid-19 context. Our partners did not use our products anymore. Logical: there were no more full flights, with 80 to 90% of flights getting cancelled!
What should we do?
As everything was stopped and we were locked down, we had two options:
👉 Stay focus on our products and wait for better days to come. Why not enjoy free time in the French countryside?
👉 Understand the burning pain points of the airlines and see where we could help
We did not really have so much time to think about it as we got a phone call from one of our partners.
“Hey guys, in your product, you issue EMDs, right? Actually we are issuing hundreds of thousands of EMDs to refund customers as we cancel 90% of our flights. And we do that manually… Is there a way you could help to automate that?”
Voucher, voucher, voucher
EMD. Electronic Miscellaneous Document. The Airline Industry standard to issue a travel document that is not a standard ticket, for example a voucher to be redeemed on future flights.
Vouchers are good for airlines as they can limit their cash burn in a time of crisis. IATA has advocated for the refund of customers in vouchers instead of cash in the Covid context.
But issuing EMDs is a manual time-consuming process. It takes 5 to 8 minutes for an agent to handle a booking (PNR) on average. And this increases dramatically with the number of passengers in the booking (each one gets her/his EMD) and additional paid options.
Within 5 days, SMOOSS tech team was able to launch a first live product, Skip, contacting customers on cancelled flights to offer them an instant voucher collection.
Our partners could save Customer support handling costs and were recognized for their Customer service.
Skip was continuously enhanced through the crisis to build a comprehensive offer to customers impacted by flights cancellations: a rebooking, a voucher or a refund, all processed automatically.
We also developed Skip’s little brother, Spend: an API to redeem vouchers, that can be integrated by the airline in its booking flow.
Learn more from our Case study about Skip, SMOOSS solution for massive flights cancellations.