SkyMall Shoppers, Rejoice!
It's happened to all of
us. Stuck in the middle seat on a crowded commercial flight to
Memphis, we turn to the onboard SkyMall catalog for some relief,
escape, and even some mild humor... and before too long, the notion
of spending $200 for a Trailer Hitch Stand And Chairs* seems not
only completely reasonable, but absolutely necessary!
* Actual item
True, we could always fill out the order cards, and turn them in
to the flight attendant... but for most of us, that impulse to buy
disappears soon after the wheels hit the runway, and we realize the
airline lost our luggage. But now -- thanks to Wingspeed
Corporation and Novo Ivc -- we may soon be able to swipe our credit
cards inflight, and have all sorts of unnecessary items (and
the resulting finance charges) heading to our doors before the
snack service begins!
The two companies announced last week the introduction of a
system that allows airlines to obtain credit card authorization for
sales transactions conducted during flight. The solution -- which
combines the Wingspeed XFIA communications & computing platform
and the Novo Ivc Point-of-Sale system -- for the first time
allows airlines to conduct real-time, in-flight credit and debit
card transactions and also use airline loyalty program cards,
opening an array of new revenue opportunities.
Previously, airlines have had to store in-flight transaction
data until the aircraft reached the ground.
"This solution will
address a need that the market has clearly articulated," said Tim
Clifford, Managing Director at Novo Ivc. "In addition, it will
reduce bank charges and fraud, while giving airlines the
opportunity to sell higher-value goods in flight, all representing
a compelling return on investment."
"We are excited at partnering with Novo Ivc, whose extensive
client list shows them to be a leader in the provision of
point-of-sales systems to the aviation industry," said Ciaran
Bernard, Wingspeed's Director of Sales in Europe. "This application
is yet another benefit offered by the Wingspeed XFIA architecture,
an extensible communications and computing platform that can host a
range of cockpit and cabin services."
It's a shame Skybus is no more... as that airline, which sold
nearly everything but the chairs passengers sat in, seems a natural
client for this new system.