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Delta and Etihad Airways: Wireless Technologies Case Study

Mobile technology refers to tools that support cellular communication in the form of a multiple access platform through codes. Examples of mobile technology include instant messaging, mobile phones, web browser, and GPS navigation. On the other hand, wireless technology refers to a platform of communication that utilizes electromagnetic waves to transmit the signal in a trajectory path. The wireless technology is void of wire as the main medium for transmitting the information. Examples of wireless technology are Wi-Fi, cordless peripherals for computers, two-way radios, and satellite television among others.

Utilizing the Wireless and Mobile Technology to Improve Efficiency

Companies across the globe use mobile and wireless technology to improve efficiency by saving on time since these platforms are easier to use and access by customers. Secondly, mobile and wireless technology is used by companies to attract and retain more customers since these platforms offer a series of benefits to clients such as free Wi-Fi, recharging, and messages. Lastly, companies use mobile and wireless technology to streamline the cost and personnel involved in serving customers (Turban, Liang, & Wu, 2011). Through such technology, a company can directly engage customers without having to pass through a third party. The reduced logistics channel translates into improved efficiency.

Wireless and Mobile Technology Implemented by Delta

The mobile and wireless technologies that have been implemented by Delta are free in-flight Wi-Fi, Delta mobile app, standardized recharging station, and the social media. The airline’s vice president noted that the company provides “customers with technology tools to keep them connected during their travel experience on the ground and in the air” (News Hub, 2012, par. 7). Besides, the standardized recharging stations in all waiting bays of the airline has enabled the company to support waiting for customers to continue working or using their computer without worrying about power.

The Delta mobile app provides customers with services such as “eBoarding, ability to track and pay for bags, alerts for updated travel information, airport and aircraft details, and a parking reminder” (News Hub, 2012, par. 6). These mobile and wireless technologies have placed the airline as a regional and global leader in technology application in sustaining customer-business interaction.

Level of Efficiency of the Mobile and Wireless Technologies at Delta

The Delta mobile app enables customers to order tickets directly from the company without having to pass through agencies. Besides, the customer is also able to pay for the ticket through the same mobile phone and only show up during the departure with the ticket code. Unlike the traditional ticketing platforms, which required customers to call agencies or visit their offices, the airline’s mobile app has empowered customers to take charge of their traveling schedule and save in the process.

The reduced time in ordering tickets and making the payment has improved the company’s efficiency as a result reduced complainants, fraud, and ticketing lines (Checkland, 2007). This means that Delta can concentrate the resources that were employed in ticketing to other aspects of the business without affecting the service charter for its customers.

The latest technology products such as free Wi-Fi, recharging portals, and the mobile app have improved on the actual and perceived customer satisfaction with the Delta products and services. For instance, in the 2011 financial year, the company recorded repeat customer growth by 14% while referrals in the corporate customer segment also grew by more than 10%. Customers are attracted to Delta because of the technology-based service charter that promises to entertain, offer comfort, and maintain constant contact with the company. For instance, a frequent business traveler would prefer using Delta because he can charge his laptop, use the internet onboard, and track his luggage. The increased customer retention and referrals have resulted in more efficiency as the company can meet its targets through improved revenues (Jiawei, 2011).

Since the mobile and wireless technology in use by Delta engages customers directly, the airline has been able to streamline the cost of operation by reducing the number of employees. Unlike before when the company had to employ many workers to sell tickets, the mobile app for ordering tickets means that the customer interacts directly with the company without the involvement of any third party. The streamlined logistical and personnel as a result of the above technology has resulted in reduced cost, thus improved efficiency (Reynolds, 2009).

Selected Company’s Strategy for Implementing Systems and Technology

Etihad Airways is based in the United Arab Emirates and has been in operation for more than a decade. At present, the company is considered one of the most technologically advanced airlines with the Gulf region. Among the notable technology that is applied by the airline company to reach its customers are wireless and mobile technology applied by Etihad are SMS system, free fast Wi-Fi onboard, product app for checking in and tracking luggage, free recharging portals, and the company’s crystal report system (Turban, Volonino, & Wood, 2012). These systems and technologies are used to sustain customer relationship management, efficiency in service delivery, and gaining a competitive advantage in the market.

Level of Efficiency at Etihad as Influenced by Technological Implementation

The Wi-Fi and service app is mobile technologies that are used by the company to keep in touch and improve the comfort of customers on board. In all Etihad planes, there is free and very fast Wi-Fi internet connection, which enables customers on board to select their entertainment channels and work while traveling. The service app can be downloaded and installed on the customer’s mobile phone for use in any location or at any time.

This means that customers who have installed the Etihad app are in a position to buy air tickets just by pressing a button on their mobile phones. Besides, the app empowers customers to track their ticket orders, luggage and traveling schedule in real-time (Turban, Volonino, & Wood, 2012). In case of any communication from the airline, a customer with the app is in a position to get the message in the shortest time possible. The app also comes with a toll-free customer care chart button. This means that customers can follow up on inquiries through live charts with the support representatives. Upon login into the app, a customer only needs to include his app identity number after which an automated chart can activate.

The other mobile technology applied by Etihad Airways is the SMS and toll-free calls. Customers of the airline can subscribe for free to messaging services to ensure that they get updates about products, schedules, ticketing, prices, and current offers. The offline messaging service offered by Etihad empowers customers through the provision of updated information about the company’s products and different services. Prompt communication via SMS service has been instrumental in improving the airline’s customer relationship management strategy through increased customer-company contact relationship (Turban, Volonino, & Wood, 2012).

Comparative Analysis: Delta and Etihad

In my opinion, Delta has been more strategic in using mobile and wireless technology to attract and retain customers. Unlike Etihad, which is still implementing most mobile and wireless technologies, Delta has created a stable technological application that has global coverage. Besides, Delta’s mobile can be customized and comes in more than ten languages and designs unlike Etihad’s app, which has not been rolled out beyond the Gulf region.

Operational and Enterprise Systems Supporting Technology at Etihad and Delta

In the case of the Etihad Airways, knowledge management decision support systems (KMDSS) and data warehousing are merged and the focused on incorporating the mobile and wireless technology to interact with available information, wherever and whenever it is available (Turban, Volonino, & Wood, 2012). Etihad Airways focuses on text mining for mobile messaging to facilitate remote interactions between the airline and customers in real-time. The emergence of text mining has improved business intelligence in the organization, which means that text mining has become an indispensable aspect of technological support at Etihad Airways.

In the case of Delta Airline, the company has integrated mobile and wireless technology to focus on customer satisfaction. The company uses data warehousing with the support of the Kalido Information Engine, which enables the company to not only deploy the technologies, but also maintain the functionality in an efficient manner (Turban, Volonino, & Wood, 2012). As a result of the automation with the support of the Kalido engine, the company has been in a position to implement automation, speed, and agility as part and parcel of the technological application strategy.


Checkland, P. (2007). Systems thinking, systems practice. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Web.

Jiawei, H. (2011). Data mining: Concepts and techniques. United States: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers. Web.

News Hub. (2012). . Web.

Reynolds, G. (2009). Information technology for managers. New York: Cengage Learning. Web.

Turban, E., Liang, T., & Wu, S. (2011). A framework for adopting collaboration 2.0 tools for virtual group decision making. Group Decision & Negotiation, 20(2), 137-145. Web.

Turban, E., Volonino, L., & Wood, G. (2012). Information technology for management: Advancing sustainable, profitable business growth (9th Ed.). New York: Wiley Global Education. Web.

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