The Product Superhero
I’ve been watching the dramatic series “For All Mankind” for my evening entertainment while the July temperatures in Texas soar to 109°F (it’s still 100° at 8p.m.). In the series, the creators have shown that early space exploration was calculated and calibrated mostly with pencil and by using a slide rule. I was fortunate to grow up in the age of the calculator (I still have my HP 19B II financial calculator, I know, I’m a dork). I also witnessed the birth of the personal computer (my family had an Apple II+ which required the top case Velcro to be ripped open so that a firm press on the mother board would restart the “frozen” cursor), so I’m generally glad I missed this “human” computer era by just over a decade. Who needs to do demanding work if a simple program can do it for you?
In case you’re wondering, no, ITS is not considering space travel…although, that would be a thrill! But we do carry forward this same pathos – why make travelers or account managers do the heavy calculations when we can build a program or application to do it for them?
Today’s post covers one feature that would be difficult to calculate if you knew what was involved. It’s the carbon emissions “insight,” calculated and shared for the traveler with each flight option returned.
Let’s say a business travel shopper searches for flights from DFW to LHR. TripEasy brings back your list of flight options with Next Generation Storefront (NGS) shelves for your review, along with airline brands, flight times, detailed list of amenities, and differences from a product called Route Happy. You also receive a visual reminder of your company’s policy rules and visual “guilt” to encourage you to choose a flight that is within your travel policy. What this list doesn’t require is data entry for carbon calculation. No forms are shown to estimate or compare carbon emissions from one flight vs. another.
With TripEasy, the carbon emissions estimate is automatically calculated for you and clearly displayed with an easy-to-spot cloud shape. It’s in red if that flight’s estimated emissions are above average for your market or green if they're below average. While we recommend steering for the green choice, this isn’t always possible due to flight times, plane flows, connections, or any number of reasons. However, this uncomplicated guide is always available to help our shoppers without requiring calculus-based math.
The next thing our shoppers notice is that they can hover on the cloud. Doing this shows the amount estimated for the non-stop flight or combination of results, as well as the average carbon emissions estimated for the market, across all flights.
Each shopper can sort and easily find the flights that are estimated to have the lowest carbon footprint and learn more with the TripEasy pop-up view. There is a drop-down list to allow the traveler to get a sense of each NGS shelf calculation and how Business Class on that specific flight compares RELATIVELY to other business class estimates.
We can now officially start a debate club about the precision of estimates and how to further refine any carbon emissions calculation. We have discussed accuracy in prior posts and future articles will cover our roadmap of refinements and improvements to help improve accuracy. Many in our industry have strong opinions that cabin class does not matter as much as the number of checked bags or weight each traveler carries onboard their flight. Without knowing the total “final” weight onboard or how much extra fuel was loaded onto a flight, the goal of TripEasy is to make simple each flight vs. flight, and same shelf vs. same shelf shopping comparison.
Travelers should not have to enter information into a calculator or manually record this estimate to turn in with their expense report. With TripEasy, travelers can receive guidance without requiring guesswork and leave the pencils, paper, and slide rules to us.
Next up: Calculation details…the basic math behind the TripEasy carbon emissions estimator.