Virgin’s award-winning Upper Class service includes complimentary chauffeur travel to and from the airport with a majority of passengers consisting of senior executives whose travel plans change frequently. It was proving difficult and labour-intensive to ensure cars were always there when needed resulting in rising incidences of limo no-shows or late airport drop-off meaning increased compensation payments. A new system was required to handle and track limo bookings, pass vehicle location and flight information to and from the car providers, and enable self-service functionality for passengers, which meant a substantial investment in the service.
Virgin Atlantic approached Esuasive to help develop a solution to improve the efficiency of the limo service. The solution needed to satisfy a number of demanding needs: fit in with the branding and usability of the main Virgin Atlantic website; facilitate customer self-service; deliver functionality to meet the specific needs of Upper Class support staff both at Virgin’s HQ and at the terminal; provide easy-to-use functionality for travel agents and car providers, and fully integrate with travel agents’ and car providers’ own systems to efficiently handle bookings and car provisions; and seamlessly integrate with existing internal booking and customer service systems.
Using an agile approach, an N-tier solution was developed using Microsoft .NET technologies, ASP.NET and C# were used to deliver the business functionality. NHibernate was used to provide an Object Relational Mapping (ORM) capability which, when coupled with the use of industry best-practice design patterns, ensured the overall agile approach was successful. Microsoft BizTalk was deployed to develop the interfaces between systems within a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), making extensive use of Web Services.
The new service has delivered a 68% reduction in compensation costs and a 25% reduction in the time spent by Customer Services staff on issues with the limo service.
Passengers are now checked in by their driver using ‘Drive Thru Check-in’ so they can bypass the terminal and go straight through to Virgin’s new Upper Class club lounge.
Virgin Atlantic were awarded a prestigious travel award for the new Upper Class offer.
Virgin’s Upper Class passengers demand and deserve a slick and professional Limo service. esuasive played a major part in our investment, delivering a very high quality solution based on Microsoft .NET technologies.