SMS is frequently used within the travel industry. Airline companies show their creativity by using this means of communication. If travellers enter their mobile number when making a booking, most airlines send out an SMS one day prior to departure to remind the traveller to check-in. This SMS message contains a link to the website of the airline, where the traveller can check-in, choose their seat and download their mobile boarding pass.
Airline SAS makes the check-in process even easier! Once the traveller receives the SMS reminder, he can simply reply to the SMS message with the word “Yes”, after which he is immediately checked-in. A confirmation of this is sent to his mobile phone, with a link to download the mobile boarding pass.
SMS is also used by airlines to report cancellations, delays and gate changes. Especially if the traveller is abroad and isn’t connected to the internet, they experience it as an added value to receive this information by SMS.
Not only airline companies use SMS. At NS (Dutch National Rail), travellers can make a booking via the internet and receive the train ticket and booking via SMS on their mobile phone. In addition, NS sends alerts by SMS with an adjusted timetable to those who have registered for this. A QR code is also often used to send discount deals, comparisons and as a link to current information services.
Car rental companies also use SMS for various applications. For example, sending booking confirmations, checklists with the documents that customers must take with them when they collect the car, and a list of all important telephone numbers per SMS. In addition, SMS is used by car rental companies for marketing campaigns and to collect feedback by sending out short surveys.
The Dutch start-up Roadmap, a mobile travel platform for business travellers, informs travellers by SMS about their flight times. Their goal is to support travellers and contribute to less stress. “As a result, they have more time to really focus on the purpose of their travels: business,” says co-founder of Roadmap, Jeroen Van Velzen. These actions are easily carried out via a mobile phone while waiting or between calls. Relevant information can be viewed directly.
SMS has been used for several years to inform citizens applying for a new passport, driver’s license or identity card, when their new documents are ready to be collected. Recently, the municipality of Amsterdam has automated this process fully by using a software robot. The passport robot chooses the most convenient time slot for the citizen to pick up their document and sends this ideal time slot via an SMS. When choosing the most convenient time slot, the activity at the information desk is taken into account. This means that waiting times for citizens are reduced to an absolute minimum.
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