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Future of Connectivity: a 30,000 Feet View

23 Jul 2012

I'm 30,000 feet in the air. I am currently west of Chicago enroute from JFK to LAX. Because I was delayed from JFK and have a connection in LAX to Sydney, Australia, which I could well miss, I am nervously following our progress on which is tracking AA181 live, while I am browsing the web from 30,000 feet on ... live. 

Compared to the rest of the passengers, I have more up to date details and real time data than anyone could have imagined a few years ago. Now, it may not help me get my flight to LAX any earlier, but it does enable the Thinque office to scenario plan future possibilities with a future focus, that gives us a better travel experience.

For example, my EA, Emma is monitoring my progress on via her iPhone, and has been able to send word to Qantas in LAX that one of their key clients is running slightly late for the connection. In the background, Qantas are scenario planning for a potential bump onto a later flight which will still get me to my Sydney, Gold Coast, and Thai speaking/consulting engagements this week. 

Future of Connectivity Thinque Anders Sorman-Nilsson Future of Aviation

Why is this important?

It's important because this connectivity sends two important messages:

  • We are now interlinked, hyperconnected, and online 24/7/365
  • - even at 30,000 feet, and this means great opportunities for increased productivity, and a new role for airlines in playing an increasingly business traveller focussed role

  • Real time data and online access ensures better and more informed executive decision-making based on progress, travel, and disruptions


Gogo in Air Futurist Aviation Airlines Anders Sorman-Nilsson


This bears begging the question of airline executives who have been slow to adopt internet / wifi on board...


The technology has been around for years, and your competitors are doing it. The need for connectivity and productivity is not going away.

Ultimately, this is about:

  • empowering your clients to stay tuned in when we want to, and at times of pressure
  • staying in the race and wowing clients

At the moment I am wowed. This is not the first time I am connected in the air, however, it has been one of the most beneficial times to be able to connect with my own version of air traffic control - my office - and they are enabling more strategic and effective decision-making which ultimately also benefits our clients. 
This customer service innovation reminds me of this great reflection from comedian Louis CK that 'Everything is amazing right now, and nobody is happy'. Check it out and let me know what your thoughts on the future of connectivity and the future of the aviation industry might look like from a digital disruption perspective...

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