Fly Delta app gains extra Lyft in move to ‘digital concierge’

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January 08, 2020
Delta app Lyft
Delta wnats to turn its app into a "digital concierge". Image: Delta.

Delta Air Lines is deepening its partnership with ride-share company Lyft as part of a plan to convert its Fly Delta app into a “digital concierge” that monitors weather and traffic and proactively offers passengers ways to keep moving.

The US carrier has been working with Lyft since 2017, offering SkyMiles members the ability to earn miles on the Uber competitor.

The airline will make it easier for its frequent flyers to link their Lyft and SkyMiles accounts and earn points.

READ: Uber says hi to Hyundai air taxi.

It is also exploring options such as estimated arrival times powered by Lyft, a dedicated premium Delta-Lyft experience at busy airports and the option for customers to pay for rides using miles.

The partnership stems from research showing that ridesharing helps reduce stress on travel days and makes traveling more enjoyable.

Delta has been upgrading its app and recently added TSA wait times in select markets, the ability to pre-select meals and automatic check-in for international flights.

Later this month will introduce virtual queuing to notify customers when their seat — not just their flight — is boarding.

Delta chief executive Ed Bastian told CES 2020  that the aim was to create an app that was a travel companion for all points of a customer journey with an eye on expanding the use of miles as a form of payment.

“Instead of checking one app for traffic, another for airport parking and a third for TSA wait times, Delta is building the capability to simplify travel by helping you manage everything from ridesharing and in-flight entertainment to bag delivery and hotels,” Bastian said.

“We’re excited to start exploring these possibilities with an innovative leader like Lyft, with whom we share a passion for making the customer travel experience even more rewarding.”

Delta is also planning faster proactive notifications powered by AI-driven machine learning, the ability to access in-flight entertainment from the moment a traveler checks in and integrating Parallel Reality airport signage.

The Parallel Reality technology from Misapplied Sciences will start beta testing for customers leaving Detroit Metropolitan Airport later this year.

The opt-in system allows passengers to see personalized content as they walk past digital screens in the language of their choice.

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Personalized messages flash up on a screen as passengers walk past. Image: Delta

This could include directions to a departure gate or the closest Delta Sky Club as well as information such as upgrade/standby status.