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Lufthansa revamps mobile presence with new features to better address needs

Lufthansa has overhauled its mobile Web site and applications, giving them a new look and additional functionality to meet the needs of customers in what is an increasingly important communication and sales channel for the company.

The airlines launched its first mobile Web site in 2007 and has watched mobile become an increasingly important marketing channel since then. Lufthansa reports that its mobile portal sees 140,000 daily visitors, 300,000 e-boarding passes per week and 1,000 new bookings per day.

?Lufthansa is widely considered to be the global benchmark in mobile aviation services and commerce,? said Joachim Bader, executive director at SapientNitro and account lead for Lufthansa.

?After two years in very successful service, a steep increase not only in usage of services like check-in, flight plan etc but also in booking numbers (ticket sales) and after collection and analyzing customer feedback, Lufthansa and Sapient saw the need of improving the Lufthansa services to address the customer needs even better,? he said.

?We also wanted to make best use of the new devices and features that are out there.?

Improved navigation
The development of the new services and the redesign were executed by the Mobile Experience Studio at SapientNitro.

The new site design features improved navigation, with the most important functions and menu items accessible from each page while personalized services have been joined together via a central login.

By logging in, users can save accessed information in an encrypted format on the device ? with the user?s permission ? so that it can be easily called up again the next time the user visits the site. As a result, data does not need to be entered repeatedly.

New functionality includes push messaging that will alert users to any status change to a flight that they have booked.

Swipe functionality
The reworked apps for the iPhone and Android devices feature a new start screen design, with the most important services accessible from there.

Three further screen panels are positioned above, below and to the left of the start screen; these can be called up by sweeping a finger across the screen. Doing this enables the user to reach areas such as the ?My Services? panel, which provides direct access to boarding cards that have already been saved and push messages concerning flights that they have earmarked.

Another new app feature after the relaunch is the ability to save international travel documents. Here, the necessary information is automatically entered into the appropriate input fields when users check themselves in on their mobile phone.

The design of the current Lufthansa Top Offers is also new. Users can browse through them using sweeping motions with their finger.

Travel tips for the most popular destinations are also present.

Travel is mobile
Users with an iPhone that has the iOS 6 operating system can also transfer their mobile boarding passes into the Apple Passbook app.

Both apps are also now available in 12 languages.

?For airlines, mobile and tablet will become the key customer service and sales point in the next years,? Mr. Bader said. ?Premium airlines are seeing this development and lead the pack.

?As per definition 'travel? is ?mobile,? the clients, especially business travelers, reduce their digital connection with the airlines brand more and more on mobile ? it?s convenient, it fits user needs, it?s fast,? he said.

?Key features of mobile that will become more important are information on irregular events (gate change, delays) and personalization.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York