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Management Information Systems – Case Analysis Page |1

Management
Information Systems
A Case Analysis on
Delta and Northwest Airlines: The
Business Value of Customer Self Service
Kiosks

Submitted To: Submitted


By:
Mr. Somanath Murthy Utsav Shah

Delta and Northwest Airlines: The Business


Value of Customer Self Service Kiosks
Management Information Systems – Case Analysis Page |2

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Contents

Case Summary.................................................................................................3

Important issues..............................................................................................3

Some Positive points of the use of IT in such scenarios...................................4

Some Negative points about the use of IT in such scenarios...........................5

Recommendations...........................................................................................5

Answers to the Case Questions.......................................................................6

Q – What technologies and functions are provided in the self service


kiosks? What other services can be provided?............................................6

Q – What is the customer value for such self service kiosks for airline
check-ins?.....................................................................................................6

Q – What is the business value of such self service kiosks in the airline
industry? do they give the airline company a competitive advantage?........6

Q – What is the business value of such self service kiosks in the airline
industry? do they give the airline company a competitive advantage?

Delta and Northwest Airlines: The Business


Value of Customer Self Service Kiosks
Management Information Systems – Case Analysis Page |3

Case Summary:
In this fast age customers want everything to be as fast and as easily
available as possible. For travelers the best trip would be the one in which
they have to spend less time and efforts at the airport for checking in. Thus
Delta airlines had planned to put up information kiosks at various places at
the airport. Generally people have to spend a lot of time waiting in the queue
for their boarding passes, checking the baggage or any other enquiry they
want to make. These information kiosks provide the customers by helping
them in check in for their flights, getting boarding passes for originating and
connecting flights, select or change seats, request for stand by for an
upgrade, check the baggage, change flights, etc. As a result of these kiosks,
the customers saved 5-15 minutes of their time which they used to spend
standing in the queue. Moreover, because of this system, much more
number of customers could be handled at the airport and in an easier way.

The Delta airlines plans to add a large number of more of these kiosks as
they are the cornerstone of a broader airport strategy to offer the customers
more control. Since the project was implemented a huge sum of money was
put into it but the payback from the project has been enormous. They were
checking in a much more number of customers as compared to previous
times.

These kiosks were purchased from Kinetics, which is the top producer of
these kinds of kiosks. These kiosks are all very well networked, having touch
screens as the user interface which makes it even more user friendly, along
with a thermal printer to print the boarding passes of the customer as well as
a magnetic swipe card reader to get the details of a customer and about
their credit cards.

Delta and Northwest Airlines: The Business


Value of Customer Self Service Kiosks
Management Information Systems – Case Analysis Page |4

Important issues:
The important issues as far as the airlines authorities are concerned are:

To reduce the time spent by the customers, waiting in the queue for
checking in.
Thus they want to increase the number of people using the
automated information kiosks.
The competitions amongst the various airlines are increasing to woo
the customers, so they need to take some steps, which would
attract more customers and what better then implementing
information kiosks which reduces the waiting time for the
customers.
Also, the use of these information kiosks would reduce the manual
work and automate the whole process which makes it easier for the
customers as well as the employees at the airport.
Another issue was that they need to install more number of new
kiosks so that they can cater to these customers in a faster way
such that the customers do not have to wait long for their turn to
come.

Some Positive points of the use of IT in such scenarios:

Fast and timely availability of information


Accurate Information
The use of IT in such scenarios would reduce the costs of the company
by a huge margin and helps them earn huge margins. Although, they
need to invest a lot initially but all that pays off if the implementation
is done properly

Delta and Northwest Airlines: The Business


Value of Customer Self Service Kiosks
Management Information Systems – Case Analysis Page |5

The updates about the information can be done in a rapid way which
would be reflected at all the places, instead of manually passing the
information.
Less use of manpower to implement the tasks
The customers can sit back home and do most of the things like
booking the tickets, getting their boarding passes, getting their
luggage pass, pay for the extra luggage, change or modify the seats,
change the flight and much more. Thus, the crowd at the airport also
would reduce and would cause the company to attend lesser people.
Sometimes, the customers do not feel like going to the customer care
center to ask about some doubts. This problem can be solved by using
such Information Systems

Some Negative points about the use of IT in such


scenarios:

Technical Failures: In case of a technical failure in the system, the


whole system or the network may go down, causing to halt all the
activities and leaving the customers nowhere, which can be very
serious sometimes.
Security: Proper care has to be taken about the security aspects of
the information in such systems because of someone infiltrates in to
the network and alters some data; it can be fatal for the customers and
can also cause problems for the authorities of the company.
Unemployment: The use of IT in such scenarios may sometimes
cause a fear of unemployment amongst the existing staff.
Dominant Culture: While IT may have made the work easier and
efficient, it has also caused to dominate over a lot of other weaker
things, which can cause a feeling of insecurity amongst the employees
of the organization.

Delta and Northwest Airlines: The Business


Value of Customer Self Service Kiosks
Management Information Systems – Case Analysis Page |6

Recommendations:

The current system implemented by Delta Airlines doesn’t provide to


the customer, the facility to check-in the baggage remotely. According
to it, the traveler has to enter the details of his baggage in to the
system via the internet site. If there is any extra baggage, he can pay
online for it. Once the baggage is registered, the customer gets a code
for his baggage. When he goes to the airport, while checking-in at the
information kiosk, he only has to enter the code and the baggage
would be checked automatically in just 5 minutes and the check-in
process would be completed.
Most of the transactions should be encouraged from the home only
through the company’s website which cause the hustle at the airport to
reduce. To implement this, initially they need to give the users some
incentives so that more users can use the system.
The system should be made in such a way that it has functionality for
multi language features, as on an international airport there are people
visiting from different countries of the world.

Answers to the Case Questions:

Q – What technologies and functions are provided in the self


service kiosks? What other services can be provided?

Ans.– The TouchPort which is being manufactured by Kinetics USA provides


the best of the available technology system for the implementation of the
Self service kiosk. The system consists of:
Intel® P4 Processor 2.8 GHz
15” Touch Screen Display (Optional 17” Touch Screen Display
Available)
8” Wide-format Thermal Printer
Magnetic “Dip” Style Card Reader
Built-in System Support
Snap & Go Installation
Ease of Serviceability

Delta and Northwest Airlines: The Business


Value of Customer Self Service Kiosks
Management Information Systems – Case Analysis Page |7

System Reliability

✔ The system is completely customizable and can be modified to


include a large number of features as per the requirements of the
buyers.
✔ Moreover, the system is easy to maintain is not very costly also.

The other features which can be added to the existing system are already
mentioned in the above topic.

Q – What is the customer value for such self service kiosks for
airline check-ins?

Ans.– Without the use of such information kiosks, the customers had to
spend a lot of time waiting in the queue for checking-in the airport.
Moreover, the customers who are frequent travelers and business class
people who do not have much time get annoyed with such long waiting
times. As a result, such a system would definitely help the travelers and a lot
of customers would be delighted to use this system and it creates a lot of
value for the company as well.

Q – What is the business value of such self service kiosks in the


airline industry? do they give the airline company a
competitive advantage?

Ans.- These fully automated information kiosks provide a very high business
value for the airline industry which is one of the most emerging fields
because of the increasing globalization. Thus a large no of people keep
travelling for business purposes to various countries. These corporate people
do not like spending their precious time waiting in the queue to check-in to
the airport. As a result, the implementation of such self service kiosks are
always of a very high value for the airline industry as it helps them getting
more customers.

Yes, they do give an airline company a lot of competitive advantage. When


an airline company implements such an information system, by which a
customer can do all the things sitting at home and has to just walk in to the

Delta and Northwest Airlines: The Business


Value of Customer Self Service Kiosks
Management Information Systems – Case Analysis Page |8

airport half an hour before his flight would surely give that company a
competitive advantage over the others who are not implementing. Because
the customers of those airline companies have to spend a lot of time after
coming to the airport when the other company lets them do everything at
their convenience.

Delta and Northwest Airlines: The Business


Value of Customer Self Service Kiosks