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Lufthansa has declared 2017 to be its “Year of Digital Aviation”. While flying itself will always be a physical experience, everything else along the entire chain of air travel can be digitalized. The focus is on bots, wearables and virtual reality, in addition to continuous wireless connection to the internet during travel.
FlyingLab helps Lufthansa identify new trends and sentiments quickly and efficiently – on the ground and in the air. Lufthansa is the first airline to offer exclusive inflight conferences. Passengers on board can listen to the speakers via a WiFi live stream. They can also try out innovative gadgets for themselves on board. Each FlyingLab has a topic that corresponds to the destination or an event at the destination of the flight. During the first FlyingLab on the inaugural flight from Frankfurt to San Jose in Silicon Valley, passengers were able to test Samsung Gear, a set of Virtual Reality (VR) glasses.
Lufthansa was the first airline to post 360-degree-videos on Facebook, which allow viewers to immerse themselves visually and emotionally into actual film scenes. This is a real benefit for advertising and sales: it fosters the desire to see new places, but it also shows how spacious the seats are in Premium Economy class, for instance. Take a seat in the Lufthansa ball chair during DLD and experience the airline in 360 degree vision.
Lufthansa is also working on connections to new platforms. An API on board will soon deliver highly accurate flight data in real time directly to the Apple Watch and the Lufthansa smartphone app. Written and spoken communication with machines offer new possibilities. Lufthansa will connect to Amazon´s Alexa and on Facebook´s Messenger, the recently launched bot “Mildred” recommends the cheapest fares for selected routes within the Lufthansa Group.