How connectivity can help airlines keep passengers on side when things go wrong

Travel disruptions are inevitable. And while they may not like it, the average passenger understands that things sometimes go wrong. What matters most is how airline brands deal with unexpected problems and keep people informed. In this article we explore the different ways that eSIM can assist in effective travel disruption management, and support loyalty in general.

Disruption caused by industrial events or extreme weather conditions like the Greece wildfires of 2023 can be a PR nightmare for airlines, with unhappy customers taking to social media to share their chagrin with anyone who will listen.

Offering eSIMs to passengers (and even employees) helps address three of the core tenets of disruption management: effective communication, passenger assistance, and recovery.

Effective passenger communication

One of the biggest bugbears among delayed passengers is communication, the lack of which can seriously impact future loyalty. As one disgruntled customer shared on LinkedIn during the Christmas Eve delays in Chicago: “I have to be able to rely on my carrier! If they want my business back, they have to show improvement in 2024.”

Giving stranded passengers mobile data access via an eSIM provides the capacity to provide real-time updates on delays, cancelations and alternative travel provision. It won’t get people home any faster, but it will allow them to make informed decisions about what to do next.

Practical and genuinely useful assistance

Providing alternative travel options, accommodation and compensation where necessary is a core part of disruption management. The contact that eSIMs facilitate allows airlines to do so clearly and transparently, managing passenger expectations and minimizing the risks of reputational damage both during and after the episode.

An eSIM doesn’t just provide a direct communications channel for passengers who ordinarily might not have one, it potentially allows mobile access to anything. Staying connected while abroad is genuinely useful, especially when things go wrong. It’s thoughtful, caring and cognizant of the expensive data roaming costs some passengers might otherwise be subject to, just for letting loved ones at home know about the delay and make alternative onward travel arrangements.

Plus, providing a decent cellular connection – rather than let them take their chances with congested and insecure airport Wi-Fi – is a godsend for many types of passenger from the business traveler cut off from work to families who need to keep children entertained.

Smoother management of the recovery process

As airlines put their contingency plans into action to recover from disruptions swiftly, collaboration between different teams needs to run like clockwork. Staff communication is essential for implementing contingency plans and making urgent changes to rotas, shifts and reallocation of crews.

Hence airlines can gain by equipping staff with eSIMs, making it easier for them to stay connected and contactable. It’s also a welcome tool for staff who need to stay in touch with their own friends and family and make additional arrangements if necessary.

Travel eSIMs offer a unique loyalty solution

eSIM is a cost effective, easy to deploy solution that can go a long way towards keeping passengers sweet. Avoiding bad press will always be a priority, but the power of eSIM extends way beyond crisis management by providing a unique solution that also injects new life into loyalty programs and maximizes upsell opportunities.

eSIM empowers airlines to go beyond simply managing disruptions by providing customers with a helpful service that mitigates some of the effects of an otherwise frustrating experience. Passengers expect a free meal when things go wrong and see it as the least airlines can do. But giving them mobile data, so they can get in touch with loved ones or entertain the kids? That’s special.

Ready to find out more about how eSIM can help keep passengers loyal? Get in touch to discuss your options.