As we wind down 2019, we want to thank all of our readers, partners and contributors for a successful inaugural year of publishing. Before looking ahead to 2020, we wanted to take a moment of introspection and highlight the content that helped define Kambr Media. Here are the top 10 most-read articles from the past year.

10. Are Legacy Systems the Cause for Airlines' Demand Forecasting Struggles?

In principle, it’s quite simple. By accurately forecasting demand for each route and fare class, revenue managers can adjust pricing buckets to maximize revenue.   

Basic supply and demand dynamics suggest – when demand is high and inelastic, higher fares can be deployed. Alternatively, when demand is low but elastic, lower fares should be considered. 

However, nothing in commercial aviation is ever so simple. Demand forecasting has always been a challenge for airlines and making this task even more daunting is the very systems revenue managers work with.

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9. How United Airlines' Mobile App Provides Total Trip Context to Travelers

Among the things that led to United Airlines’ solid Q3 earnings performance, EVP for Technology and Chief Digital Officer Linda Jojo singled out the company’s mobile app as a shining star in the carrier’s ongoing “digital transformation.”

United’s mobile app, like many other major carriers’ renewed smartphone focus, has come a long way from just serving as a virtual boarding pass and not much else. But when United relaunched its mobile app in January, it sought to go a little further than just offering flight status and baggage tracking updates.

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8. Airline ABCs: How Important is Passenger Load Factor (PLF)?

Just about anyone in the commercial aviation space knows the term Passenger Load Factor (PLF), most commonly referred to as “load factor.” For those of you catching up, PLF is, at its most basic level, a means of understanding the occupancy rate of an aircraft. It’s a metric used to gauge how effectively an airline fills seats and generates base fare revenue.

How important is the metric and which airlines focus the most efforts on it?

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7. Airlines and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

For most of the 20th century, commercial aviation was one of the dominant forces advancing technology. Whether promising greater levels of safety and speed, or "enhancing the sophistication of route-planning and revenue management, the airline industry was at the center of data and digital progress. 

But, at some point over the last three or so decades, the associations of bold grandeur surrounding aviation started seeming less and less true. For the past two decades, despite a few black eyes along the way, Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Uber have captured the public’s imagination and changed the way products and services are bought, sold, and marketed, impacting every facet of business and culture, including travel. Airlines became just another follower in the new interactive economy.   

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6. How Airlines Should – And Shouldn't – Market to Millennials

If it seems that travel brands pay too much attention to Millennials, it’s probably because the cohort born between 1980 and 2000 is taking more trips than other groups.  

For example, according to commerce platform Travelport’s 2018 U.S. Vacation Survey, 55 percent of Millennials made more plans to travel over the last two years versus Generation X (31 percent) and Baby Boomers (20 percent). 

Still, just because travel brands are looking for more ways to reach Millennials, it doesn’t mean they’re getting it right. Case in point: airlines. 

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5. IBM's AI-Based Personalized Pricing and Offers Boosts Malaysia Airlines' Bookings

IBM and Malaysia Airlines have launched a partnership program designed to demonstrate that artificial intelligence is a practical tool for driving higher bookings and revenue through automation and targeted, dynamic pricing.

Even the name of IBM’s effort – it’s called “Personalized Pricing and Offers,” or PPO – is meant to evoke a plain-spoken and actionable product. This isn’t about experimentation for a distant future. It’s about now, Dee Waddell, IBM’s Global Managing Director, Travel & Transportation Industries, told Kambr Media.

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4. The Complexities of Air Cargo Revenue Management

We spend a lot of time talking about passenger revenue management, but there is another form of revenue management that airlines practice involving air cargo. Although similar in many ways this form of RM, has its own unique set of complexities.

One of the biggest differences in air cargo and passenger RM is that air cargo distribution is still handled primarily offline.  

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3. Flyr Raises $10 Million to Expand Dynamic Pricing Platform for Airlines

FLYR, a travel tech company focused on commercial aviation revenue management and dynamic pricing analytics, has raised more than $10 million in a second round funding to promote R&D, hiring and product updates as it takes on more global airline clients as an enterprise-facing business.

The funding, which brings the company’s total raised to over $25 million, comes amid elevated investment activity and intensifying competition in the race to enhance airlines’ RM systems. Just last week, aviation booking startup Volantio followed up its February $2.6 million Series B with an additional investment from Amadeus Ventures.

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2. How American Airlines Can Make ConciergeKey Truly Elite

American Airlines’ invitation-only “elite status” membership program, ConciergeKey, is one of the more mysterious lagniappes aimed at a carrier’s highest spending frequent fliers. 

In declining a request for an interview about one ConciergeKey holder’s frustrations, American Airlines’ media relations told Kambr Media that “we do not share details on the Concierge Key program beyond that it is invitation only.”

The ConciergeKey program barely gets a mention in any of American Airlines’ promotional materials. There isn’t even an officially published list of criteria to be considered for the ConciergeKey invitation, unlike other American Airlines status levels, The Points Guy notes.

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1. Have We Reached Peak Airline Complexity?

Brett Snyder hardly comes across as the irate character that the titles of his news analysis site Cranky Flier, and related air travel assistance consultancy, Cranky Concierge, would seem to indicate. 

Yet the company’s president and “Chief Airline Dork” has spent a two-decade career in commercial aviation continually finding new ways to be vexed by the complexity airlines appear to inflict on travelers. Whether it’s unbundling (or re-bundling) offers and services, the emergence of new technologies has only made the process of planning and processing airline transactions more challenging for passengers.

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Again, thanks to everyone who has been a part of the beginning of Kambr Media's journey. We're really excited for what 2020 has in store, as our platform grows to include new media, topics and discussions in the coming year. Stay tuned for so much more.