An app that allows passengers to request inflight services and amenities from their smartphone has been declared the champion of the 2017 Cathay Pacific Hackathon. ‘CX Touch’, if developed into a working product, would allow fliers to select items such as extra blankets or pillows and food and drink items via an app, which would synch to inflight crew tablets, allowing immediate delivery of the items without the need for the inflight service call.
The app, which also contained Groupon-style group-buying offers on onboard dutyfree items, was developed over the course of an intense but hugely dynamic 24-hour event designed by Cathay Pacific to nurture local technology talent and to discover the ideas that could improve air travel in future. Other ideas conceived at the event included a baggage-tracking app, a delay notification app and an inflight casino.
‘The ideas and work done over this 24 hours are a great demonstration of how Hong Kong is full of local talent,’ said Paul Loo, Chief Customer and Commercial Officer at Cathay Pacific. ‘And I’ll make you a promise – that some of the ideas presented today will be a real working product in the near future.’
The first Cathay Pacific Hackathon resulted in products that are already in the pipeline. ‘Last year we took four of the ideas forward, and one of them – an app to help groups of friends synch their holidays so they can find a time to travel together – will be rolled out soon,’ said Lawrence Fong, General Manager IT Solution.
Each member of the winning team, a group of five students from the Hong Kong Institute Of Vocational Education, wins a Premium Economy class ticket from Hong Kong to any Cathay Pacific destination plus the opportunity for a fast-track application to the IT Graduate Trainee Programme in 2018.
Top 6 ideas
CX Touch – Inflight service call app with group-buying features (Champion)
Fight4Flight – Delay notification and re-planning app (First Runner-Up)
Aviator – Delay notification and re-planning app (Second Runner-Up)
Cathay First – Inflight service personaliser with gamification
Betsy – Travel concierge and entertainment app
Hacksmart – Travel itinerary planner