Stroopwafels in demand: Corendon launches in-seat ordering
While prevalent already at sporting venues and on trains in-seat ordering is gaining traction with airlines.
As air travel recovers, the technology is helping to boost revenue opportunities and enhance convenience for passengers. Factors that have prompted Corendon Dutch Airlines to introduce an in-seat ordering service across its fleet of three Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Working with AirFi, the Dutch leisure airline has already trialled the service, which gives passengers the ability to order their favourite snack or item of duty free onboard and have them delivered directly to their seat.
According to Gert-Jan de Vries, Manager Cabin Crew & Inflight Sales, Corendon Dutch Airlines, “Passengers loved this feature and learned how to use the in-seat ordering functionality very quickly when we ran a trial in January. We saw an instant use of the system.”
For those preferring to make their purchases in the more traditional way, a trolley service will continue, however, the digital ordering system allows those who didn’t use the trolley service, or simply want to purchase that second cup of coffee or extra Stroopwafel, to do so at any point during their flight, at the crew’s discretion.
“With AirFi’s in-seat ordering, we provide a more discreet way for our guests to request what they want, when they want it. The result is that our guests are more content during the flight, and as an airline we earn additional revenue that might have otherwise been lost,” de Vries adds.
“They’re the first European airline to adopt our ground-breaking in-seat ordering capabilities”
As Job Heimerikx – CEO, AirFi explains, “Corendon has been a partner of AirFi for many years and we’re incredibly excited to announce that they’re the first European airline to adopt our ground-breaking in-seat ordering capabilities. By offering hybrid service that begins with the traditional trolley service then switches to in-seat ordering, Corendon is truly maximising the potential of its onboard retail programme.”
The carrier’s onboard digital shop, The Corendon Café, is fully integrated with AirFi’s ePOS (point of sale solution) and IFE system, and under the full control of cabin crew, who can restrict the service during certain events, such as turbulence.
“Passengers need simply connect to Corendon’s streaming IFE and shopping platform using their own mobile devices by selecting the appropriate Wi-Fi network onboard”
Crews will perform a first trolley service before activating the new service. To make a purchase, passengers need simply connect to Corendon’s streaming IFE and shopping platform using their own mobile devices by selecting the appropriate Wi-Fi network onboard. There they can select their choice of snack or drink from a virtual menu and place their order.
Crew are then notified of the order on their tablets, marking the request “in progress” or “complete” for other crew members to see. Passengers also see their order status via messaging on the wireless IFE platform streamed to their mobile device. A crew member will then deliver the items to the passenger’s seat, at which time payment is taken. As a cashless airline, Corendon accepts all major debit and credit cards.
“An additional benefit is the ability to monitor stock levels, with crew marking products as ‘out of stock’ when they become unavailable.”
An additional benefit is the ability to monitor stock levels, with crew marking products as ‘out of stock’ when they become unavailable. The airline is currently trialling optimised loading using data from its AirFi’s ePOS solution to help drive down operational costs without compromising sales opportunities.
In 2020, AirFi and Singaporean LCC Scoot launched “ScootHub” with in-seat ordering in a regional first. The initiative facilitated a shift from printed menus and in-flight magazines at each seat to a fully digital solution, saving the airline 156 tonnes of paper annually.