Airlines have been biding their time, but they're now entering the iPhone app space.
What's interesting for us, is the way they're taking key attributes of their identity - logos, colours, and styles - and placed it into the rather confined space of the iPhone.
Again, a technological tool needs to align 100% with the brand. A badly designed app will have follow through affects on the brand experience, while impressing customers with an app - as would be the case with Lufthansa's app - will add to the entirety of the experience with the airline.
Let's take a closer look.
Air Canada was the first airline to get an app together. Amongst other features, they have weather information and a car rental tool.
Southwest features the above, along with a ding! feature that gives you updates on special pricing deals.
Cathay Pacific's app holds 68 destination guides, and profiles on all of their staff, that helps personalise the brand experience more.
At the head of the pack is Lufthansa, who have three different mobile tools. The Lufthansa Launcher gives customers a booking, tracking and boarding service. It's not a real app, directing customers to the airline's iPhone-customised site. The Lufthansa Navigator acts as a GPS, giving travelers an interactive street-view map. ti can store your flight information and tell you exactly hoe to get to your gate, check-in counter, baggage carousel or preferred airport lounge. At the moment the Navigator is only being test at Frankfurt airport, but this is a sign of what's to come.
The third tool is a social app that encourages Lufthansa's Miles & More frequent flyers to engage with one another. MemberScout lets passengers share their geo-location, arrange meet-ups, give and receive travel advice, and even share taxies. Presumably it's a matter of time until all three are combined into one mega-app.