Building a web community for frequent flyers

Many of today’s cutting-edge web apps do not look much like applications at all. With businesses keen to exploit the popularity of smartphones, it is increasingly common to find them producing web apps for those platforms. These apps share many of the features of a typical web app – with one vital difference: they access the Internet directly, bypassing the browser.

Match2Blue is a mobile application development agency, which uses data matching technology to power social networking apps for companies such as German airline Lufthansa.

Match2Blue’s Java-based data matching technology, known as Matooi, is designed specifically for the mobile Internet. Unlike search engines, which recall information only when directed to do so, Matooi provides new results when it perceives some change in the user’s status, such as when they move to a new location.

This system forms the basis of MemberScout, an application that allows members of Lufthansa’s Miles & More frequent-flyer programme to interact with one another, tapping in to their knowledge of destinations across the globe.

“For almost any question that can arise while travelling, there is someone within the Lufthansa frequent-flyer community who has the answer,” says Stephanie Renda, managing director of Match2Blue.

Typical questions might be the location of a good sushi restaurant or a reasonably priced hotel, she says. “Instead of searching Google with their mobile phones and then having to interpret and filter the information themselves, people are relying on the wisdom of the community and receive ready-to-use answers from peers within minutes.”

New answers will be provided as the member moves from, for example, Barcelona to Manhattan.

The web-based nature of MemberScout allows it to tap into the information that customers are now used to sharing, thanks to the popularity of social networking, says Renda. 

Henry Catchpole

Henry Catchpole runs Inform Direct, a company records management software company which simplifies the process of dealing with Companies House. The business was set up in 2013.

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