Airlines look to new tech to beat pain points of weather delays

It's one of the worst parts of traveling: Your flight gets delayed — or worse, cancelled — due to a storm. But now major airlines are using technology to help fliers beat the weather delay blues, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Rather than clumsily and time-consuming rebooking process, these four airlines are changing the booking game.

In January, Delta Air Lines implemented its new rebooking system, Viper, which customers can access via Delta's website, app or an airport kiosk. Viper shows customers a variety of choices for a new flight, including what Delta recommends as the best option. It also shows fliers alternative flight options, or nontraditional ways of reaching their destination. Perhaps most conveniently, Viper is consistently updated with actual flight arrival and departure times rather than scheduled times.

Through its rebooking system, United Airlines looks to give customers an even wider selection of alternative flights, many of which reroute through destinations that aren't in the midst of the storm. According to WSJ, United claims more and more of its fliers are using the system rather than an agent to rebook flights.

Southwest Airlines' Baker rebooking system "selects flights to cancel based on maximizing the airline's ability to reaccomodate people," according to WSJ. Prior to its launch, Southwest workers had to process rebooking requests manually, which often took between six and eight hours. Now, Baker considers 20 different factors before much more quickly giving customers a list of alternative flight options.

American Airlines recently merged with US Airways, and it's now using some of US Airways' technology to create a completely new rebooking system. The airline expects to unveil it by the second quarter of 2017. "Our automatic reaccomodate tool is only so good because we can't get into the customer's mind," said Julie Rath, American's managing director of customer service recovery, according to the report. "Do you want to leave early? Do you not want to go? If we give you options, we put it more into the hands of the customer."

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