Customer’s airline journey – value generation, networks of value and digitisation

[Work In Progress]

How the customer journey in taking a flight has changed over the years is a great story of how service innovation:

  • is continuous
  • where customers drive co-value generation
  • there are many actors involved autonomously often in parallel or separate markets/industries
  • the level of co-value generation determines which components of a system survive
  • end user perceived risk can drive customer resistance


Remember the old days of air travel?  I do, just.  You had go to a travel agents who had a book (ar sometimes access to a computer terminal) that allowed the planning of an air journey.  You would book your ticket there, and have to come back some weeks later to pick up your paper ticket.  On travel day, you would have to get to the airport early to queue up at check-in to try and get a good seat.  You’d have to keep that paper ticket with you, part of which was inserted into your boarding pass (both were needed for it to be valid…) and show at passport control, and again at the gate to get on the plane.

Nowadays it’s much easier.  I, typically, use the Kayak app on my phone to find best journey from many providers.  Kayak then connects me through to the airline(s)/rebooker that I pick with a click.  With another click I have booked and paid for my journey, and momentarily the electronic tickets are visible in the relevant airline’s mobile apps on my phone.  24 hours before the flight I can check-in and choose my seat through the mobile apps.  I can also get the boarding pass as a QR code moved to the wallet on my phone.  At the airport I use that QR code to print out my baggage label.  The same QR code gets me through the first section of the security gate and also the boarding check to the airplane.

Why does this work?

The value for me is much greater and more often than the supermarket check out example, so I have less resistance.  

  • ecosystem – whilst the journey sounds simple, there are a lot of actors involved (the phone maker, inventor of QR codes, developer of e-wallets, developers of all the airline apps, the airport infrastucture (and suppliers of the infrastructure) etc).
  • co-value generation – there is no one person that has architected this journey, it has been built by many providers making offerings and the customers (you and I, and other members of the ecosystem) being able to generate value together.  Those parts that still show co-value survive, those that don’t, fall by wayside.

Co-create value by leaving your views

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.