With Covid-19 outbreak, hundreds of millions of air customers have seen their flights cancelled. Different options were offered to them: being rebooked on a new flight of their choice, being refunded, or getting a voucher. The industry has advocated for the voucher as a way to preserve airline’s liquidity in an unprecedented situation.
At smooss, we’ve been busy handling impacted customers for our partners over the last months. Our solution offers them instant rebooking, refund or voucher issuance using the industry standard EMD (Electronic Miscellaneous Document) across all touchpoints.
As traffic is taking off again, tens if not hundreds of millions of air customers have vouchers that they want to use for their next trip.
Many airlines still ask their customers to call the service desk to book their next trip using their voucher
And yet, many airlines, even among the largest ones, do not offer the ability to pay with vouchers on their website.
It results in a waste of time and an additional cost for customers who need to call the customer service desk or visit a ticketing office to book their next trip.
The same goes for call centers, already overwhelmed by an unprecedented workload.
It also hampers transparency as customers do not always have the accurate information on the bonus amount they are entitled to. Doing a purchase simulation on the website is the easiest way to know what fare they can afford.
Customers are expecting a modern e-commerce experience
On top of that, customers are now accustomed to a modern hassle-free e-commerce experience as provided by players like Amazon.
What was acceptable in the past for just a few customers is no longer an option when so many customers want to use their vouchers.
All airlines do not have the resources to implement this feature with the needed time to market
Some carriers have already added the voucher redemption feature to their website, such as Lufthansa, Air France or Aeromexico, the latter having posted a customer-friendly video to detail the process.
But still, many airlines lack the resources to implement this feature with the needed time to market as it needs to be live in the coming weeks at the latest.
Besides, as simple as it may seem, air voucher redemption comes along with quite some complexity.
Smooss offers airlines a simple widget to copy/paste on the payment page of their website
To overcome that complexity, smooss widget goes with simple business rules to customize how airlines want to let their customers use their vouchers, such as
- Validity check and identity match
- Bonus computation (if applicable)
- Option to issue a new voucher is there is some residual value
Customers just need to add their vouchers references in the widget interface, inspired from e-commerce best practices. Smooss takes care of everything according to the airline’s business rules and commercial policy.
Smooss can then issue the new tickets taking the EMDs in exchange. Our process ensures full compliance with airline’s financial flows for revenue accounting.
We already have one partner on our Voucher Redeem Use Case and we expect more as it is definitely a must have for airlines and their customers!