Indian, formerly Indian Airlines (IA) will both strengthen its security and improve its services considerably by setting up a comprehensive passenger service system (PSS) shortly. This will involve a host of measures including getting detailed information on every passenger, mobile phone enabled ticket reservation and baggage facilitation.
Five service providers Sabre, Sita, Amadeus, EDS and Lufthansa Syustems are in the fray for the contract to execute the project. "We will award the bids shortly and the system should go on steam over the next three months", an IA spokesman told Hindustan Times.
The new PSS, would be built on the customer relationship module, and would involve a cost of about Rs 30 crore designed to manage 7 million passengers annually.
"The PSS would enable the airlines staff to identify the customer the moment he/she calls to book a seat ( if she has travelled by IA earlier). Addressing him/her by name, remembering minute details including birthdays, greeting him/her online, are some of the personalised services that would be offered", said the IA spokesman.
Also, the system will provide for bookings through mobile phones and even through ATMs. Similarly, on the check-in front, the new system will facilitate web check-in and self service check-in at kiosks.
Most international airlines are presently operating a system called the advanced passenger information system (APIS). Under the APIS system, airlines provide a wide-range of information on passengers within 15 minutes of take-off of the flight to India.
The information includes: name of the passenger; date of birth; nationality; sex; passport number; country of issuing the passport; country of permanent residence; and visa number, date and place of issue.
The objective of the system is ostensibly to enable security agencies and airport authorities to identify passengers who could be potential threats.
Besides, with exponential passenger traffic growth over the last few years, APIS is also aimed at enabling immigration authorities to check the information received in advance against their lists and clear the passengers expeditiously on their arrival in India.
The IA spokesman said the proposed PSS would be far more comprehensive than an APIS system as it is built on the CRM module. "It will reduce turnaround time of passengers at airports significantly and would enable the airline to identify each and every passenger at every point of contact", he said.