United Airlines is upgrading its overbooking strategy by turning to big data and machine learning solutions, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Unlike traditional manual methods, analytics can better predict which flights are most likely to have no-shows and target customers with personalized offers. Both tasks require getting data and compute power closer to the customer, Linda Jojo, executive vice president of technology and chief digital officer at United, told The Wall Street Journal.
That also means greater reliance on cloud, since traditional internal data centers don’t provide the required infrastructure flexibility, Jojo said.
It’s all about the customer, and traditional data centers just don’t provide airlines or other businesses the flexibility they need to give customers the types of services they want. That’s why more airlines are leveraging cloud technology and data analytics to give them a competitive edge.
With outages plaguing the industry, United is not the first airline to look toward advanced technology solutions. In June, IBM announced that American Airlines (AA) will use IBM Cloud as the foundation for a "massive" cloud transformation. AA wants to make internal processes more efficient, easier and better prepared to handle site traffic during high volume periods.
Beyond data and analytics, United is already working with service providers to modernize its technology stack. Earlier this year, IBM and United Airlines announced they will collaborate to build a new suite of enterprise iOS apps to help United employees improve customer service. And late last year, Southwest Airlines announced plans to spend up to $300 million on new operations technology and $500 million on a new reservation system.