Posted on: 03 June 2015 by Ross McSweeny
Following its creation of Monarch Airlines’ (Monarch) existing MPlayer App, which enables Monarch passengers to stream content to personal electronic devices, Media inMotion is now co-developing an Apple Watch app for the airline.
Media inMotion demonstrated the smartwatch app at the Airline Retail Conference (ARC) in London, which will allow passengers to order food, beverages and duty free products from their seat at any time during the flight.
Martin Cunnison, CEO of Media inMotion, commented, “We are constantly looking for new ways to excite passengers and simplify their journeys. Our new Apple Watch App builds on the growing trend of people ‘multi-screening’, so Monarch passengers will be able to watch their movie and at the same time order their drinks and snacks from their Apple Watch without interruption.”
Cunnison told Inflight-Online.com, “You could be sat on an aircraft and a personalised offer could come through for buy one get one free on Gin and Tonics. Or if we know that you’re flying home, you’ve got two kids and you don’t drink, then we might send you an offer for a cuddly toy. That’s the kind of step-change here.
“The Apple Watch app will offer airlines new revenue streams but it also offers things on top of that. Once you’ve got your coffee you can know that the aircraft is still flying at 35,000 feet and the air is –60 degrees, which is knowledge that pacifies me. It’s a more engaging way of flying, rather than not knowing about anything that’s going on.”
To order food and drink using the Monarch MPlayer Apple Watch App v1.0 features, passengers need to set up their seat number on their MPlayer iPhone app. Once the first in-flight service is completed, Apple Watch App users can order from the ‘Food & Drink’ range for the remainder of the flight. Conveniently, Apple Watch App users can recall their previous orders and re-order with one touch.
The Apple Watch App also shows flight time and distance remaining, altitude and ground speed as well as destination weather, appearing in Glances on the home screen.
Although still in development, in practice flight crew will be notified of the passenger’s Watch App request via their connected terminal. The order can then be prepared for prompt at-seat delivery and payment.
Other functionalities which are also in development include smart wallet compatibility, seat chat (whereby passengers can allow fellow travellers to connect during the flight), home/hotel/airport delivery on inflight retail purchases and device handoff; meaning Apple Watch App users will be able to start an order on one device and continue on the other.
Ian Chambers, Monarch’s head of digital and online, commented, “This development to the MPlayer App is just another example of how Monarch are looking to lead the field in superior customer service and simplifying processes for customers and our cabin crew colleagues. At Monarch we’ve been providing customers with allocated seating and inflight dining for over 30 years, and our continued development work with Media inMotion in 2015 is demonstrating what in-flight retail could look like in the near future.”
Stephanie Taylor, editorial assistant, Inflight / Inflight-Online.com