Aircoach goes live with web, SMS and voice ticket system


21 Jul 2004

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A web, SMS and voice ticketing system previously reported upon on siliconrepublic.com has gone live at Dublin-based Aircoach, enabling passengers to buy their tickets in any number of ways. The system will enable Aircoach to reduce the number of tickets it produces every year by 40pc.

Once credit card details have been verified a specially coded picture message is sent to their mobile phone. Passengers then simply open the picture message and hold the phone over a scanning machine located at the airport stop or on each coach.

The scanning technology was provided for Aircoach by Dublin-based mobile software firm Textus. Described as a multi-modal mobile ticketing and redemption solution, the M-Scan solution will allow Aircoach customers, for example, to buy tickets for the service by either IVR (instant voice response) or over the internet.

Commenting on the launch, Aircoach boss John O’Sullivan said: “We are extremely pleased about launching this new way of travel. We believe it’s the way forward. Delivering Aircoach tickets to your mobile means they’re now truly portable and safe.

“We currently issue almost a million paper tickets per year and our aim is to reduce that by 40pc in 12 months. It also reduces the amount of cash in circulation and provides us with a more detailed breakdown of ticket sales since electronic tickets can be easily monitored.”

Ireland has one of the highest levels of mobile phone usage in Europe with current market penetration standing at 87pc. With 3.4 million subscribers, this system should provide a safe and secure purchasing alternative coupled with the obvious time-saving benefits for intending passengers.

Aircoach has pioneered the way technology is used in the transport sector, utilising this new system along with the GPS satellite tracking technology currently used on all coaches.

By John Kennedy