Case Study: Alaska Airlines revolutionizes aerial innovation thanks to its use of APIs

Flexibility, security, agility, and an increase in business activity and integration are just some of the features gained by Alaska Airlines' apps thanks to the implementation of an API.

BBVAOpen4U
|
25 May. 2018

Alaska Airlines needed to compete with other major airlines like American Airlines and Delta, and given its lack of marketing budget, decided to place the emphasis on innovation.

Thanks to this change of course it became one of the first airlines to allow the introduction of electronic devices on its planes and offer its users a new way of enjoying their journey. It also pioneered the online check-in process, a move which made the airline company an electronic innovation leader.

The goal was to improve the user experience

Alaska Airlines was one of the first to develop an iPhone app to enable users to access their boarding passes, a system that has today been copied by many airlines. But this app was very limited at the start, and the user experience left much to be desired.

The executives at Alaska Airlines realized the app alone was not sufficient and decided to incorporate an API, as part of an initiative they called “Innovation at the Edge”. Their aim was to develop apps that offered their users and employees added value.

To achieve their goal, the company needed a API proxy that would carry out the work of security and management, both to receive incoming requests and to guarantee the operation of its back-end services. The API they used was CA API Gateway, because it offers flexibility and good integration between the development and test environment.

How has it improved?

Using this API they managed to create an app that has streamlined the boarding process while enabling passengers to check their flight status in real-time. This API has also allowed the Alaska Airlines partners to develop other apps to improve their customers’ experience:

  • Users can send an SMS with their dispatch number using Alaska Mobile Track to see the current status of their package.
  • And FlyingSocial enables Facebook users to access all current Alaska Airlines offers.

By implementing an API, Alaska Airlines has been able to securely showcase itself to others, thereby increasing its commercial activity.

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