In its continuing partnership with our company, bmi implements new business processes that keep customers happy and meet legislative demands.
“Ultimately, the solution helped us to mitigate customer dissatisfaction and we reduced costs by not having to employ additional staff.”
E-commerce Support Specialist
bmi is a major UK airline and the second largest flying out of London Heathrow. The company serves 10 million passengers a year and has seen considerable growth in online ticket booking.
Since 2003, we have provided the technology and expertise to streamline bmi’s ticket filtering and distribution mechanism—cutting ticketing queues (the time incurred between booking a flight and processing the ticket) and the costs of distributing ticketing information to the correct delivery channels.
So when bmi wanted to implement new processes to accommodate new business and regulatory demands, it’s no surprise that it turned to another one of our solutions—Micro Focus Verastream® Software Development Kit (SDK) for Unisys and Airlines.
After reviewing its existing flight booking process, bmi decided to implement a single cabin on some of its short haul routes. With this configuration, there would be no separation between economy and premium economy flyers, but premium economy customers would still receive superior service. The new booking system would need to allocate seats accordingly and provide a holistic view of bookings so that different departments, such as marketing, could take advantage of the information.
In 2007, airlines faced another challenge when the UK government doubled the rate of air passenger duty (APD). This charge applied whether or not passengers had already booked their flights. bmi required a solution that could be implemented against a tight timeline to avoid any potential fines.
To meet these new business demands, bmi turned to our company. The decision was straightforward, according to Chet Parmar, e-commerce support specialist for bmi. “We approached Attachmate (now part of Micro Focus) to help implement these projects for a number of reasons. The first was its technology, with which we already had experience, and knew would allow the creation of a customized and flexible business process to fulfil our commercial requirements,” he said. “The second was the refreshing approach Attachmate (now part of Micro Focus) always brings to our partnership, and its undoubted pedigree within the airline industry.”
After a careful evaluation of the current processes and expectations for the new booking process, We developed a pre-seater solution using Verastream SDK for Unisys and Airlines. The pre-seater solution examines all flight details 24 hours prior to departure and allocates premium flyers with seats at the front of the cabin.
With the doubling of the APD tax, it became a high priority for bmi to quickly implement a solution that would not affect the other business process models already in place. Our solution made it possible to examine a list of all the passengers that were flying on dates where bmi needed to make an additional charge.
If a booking had an email address associated with it, the solution enabled bmi to email customers about additional taxes due. The solution forwarded bookings without email addresses to bmi’s call center, where agents could locate a telephone number to reach customers. “Ultimately, the solution helped us to mitigate customer dissatisfaction and we reduced costs by not having to employ additional staff,” said Parmar.
As the project evolved and became integral to bmi’s diamond club accounts, our solution had to implement new features. Members needed the ability to credit travel miles that could subsequently be used to buy flights, accommodations, car rentals, parking, or gifts. In providing this service, it was essential that bmi be able to allow diamond club members to make their bookings online using accrued points.
The company did it with our help. “This gave us real-time solutions,” stated Parmar. “Ultimately it is our customers who are benefiting from the fact that Attachmate (now part of Micro Focus) helps make these initiatives happen.”
Ultimately, bmi was able to manage its business challenges successfully, without impacting customer satisfaction. “Attachmate (now part of Micro Focus) has provided bmi with a genuine value-add, and is a trusted advisor in a highly competitive industry—a powerful proposition in today’s economy,” Parmar concluded.