How the 4 Largest Airlines Use Artificial Intelligence


The U.S. commercial airline system is an economic engine which generated an estimated $168.2 billion in operating revenue in 2016. Ticket fares represented 74.5 percent of operating revenue or $125.2 billion. In 2016, the overall category of transportation represented approximately 2.7 percent of the national GDP.

Airline passenger traffic is projected to double over the next two decades. Today, leading airlines are exploring how AI can help them keep pace with customer demand and improve operational efficacy, speed and customer satisfaction.

To learn how the top four U.S. airlines are using AI, we researched this sector in depth to help answer questions business leaders are asking today, including:

  • How are industry leaders like American Airlines and Delta Airlines using AI today?
  • What have been the tangible results of these airline AI applications?
  • What are the trends across airline AI applications – and how will they impact the industry’s future?

This article aims to present a comprehensive look at how the four leading commercial passenger airlines are using AI. Companies were ranked based on 2016 operation revenue sourced from company financial reports. Before we begin exploring each company, we’ll present the common patterns that emerged throughout our research in this sector.

The most popular AI applications from the top four industry leaders currently using AI appear to be:

  • AI Assistants: Responding to customer inquiries and responding to voice commands for domestic airline flight info and ticket availability through interactions using natural language (see American Airlines and United below)
  • Smart Logistics: Machine learning algorithms are being applied to data to help automate airline operations. (see Southwest below).
  • Facial Recognition: Facial recognition technology is being used to perform customer identity verification and to match passengers to their luggage through kiosks

In the full article below, we’ll explore the AI applications of each airline individually. We will begin with American Airlines, the #1 ranking U.S. commercial airline based on 2016 revenue figures.

American Airlines Holds HackWars

In 2017, the current leading airline focused its annual app development competition, HackWars, on “artificial intelligence, drones and augmented and virtual reality” technologies. HackWars IV, was a 24-hour hack-a-thon that reportedly brought out over 700 “designers, developers and IT” professionals. Participants worked in teams aiming to come up with an idea for an innovative app that would be beneficial for both “customers and employees.”

The 1st place team, “Team Avatar,” reportedly designed an app that would allow users to determine the size of their luggage in advance of arriving to airport or at a kiosk before proceeding to the gate. The winning team also claimed that their app would allow users to “prepay for any potential expenses” associated with their luggage.

Read the source article at TechEmergence.