Kevin Huynh, Managing Director of WestEast Travel, a long-established and successful travel agency based in West London, UK, sits down and tells us more about their strategy for engaging with customers via the mobile channel. With the help of Amadeus, WestEast launched a new mobile app for travellers in June 2015.
The technology behind the WestEast application is Amadeus m-Power, a white label solution created by Amadeus. It allows travel agencies to offer travellers pre-, during- and post-trip functionalities and services via their mobile phone.
Kevin, tell us more about WestEast travel?
WestEast Travel has been running now for 25 years, and I have been here for the best part of 18 years. We specialise in South East Asia with Thailand, Vietnam, India and China being among our top destinations. We serve a lot of the Thai and Vietnamese expat communities, and these destinations have really grown recently, based on word of mouth recommendations from customers.
What does the WestEast app do today?
The app gives our clients the ability to search, book and pay for flights and hotels, get automatic real-time flight notifications by SMS and check-in for flights. The app is fantastic for itinerary management, where our travellers can view a list of booked flights, sorted by date. For each flight, everything that the traveller needs is shown, such as departure and arrival times, status, flight number, ticket number, reservation number and any stopovers and/or transfer times.
Why Amadeus m-Power?
Our decision to launch a mobile app was really in response to our email campaigns. All of our email campaigns are tracked as they are sent and we saw 67% of our emails were opened on a smartphone. The majority of that 67% took place on iPhones, which drove our decision to launch on iOS first.
What does it mean for your customers?
M-Power allows us to connect more personally to our customers. Not just in terms of search and booking functionality, but also for in-trip information such as notifying them which gate the aircraft is departing from. It also allows us to manage travel distributions by alerting our customers to schedule changes or flight cancellations in real time as and when they happen.
What does it mean for WestEast Travel?
The commercial benefits of the WestEast app are that it allows us to enter new markets and compete with our larger competitors. It also enables us to create more of an ongoing relationship with our customers by having the WestEast brand constantly on their handset.
What was it like to partner with Amadeus?
The support for this project came right from the offset: from presenting the solution in a simple and easy-to-understand way, right through to development and through to launch. It has been a seamless and pain free experience.
If you would like more information on any of our mobile solutions, please visit the Amadeus website.