Kayak, the travel booking aggregator app, has been offering a filter for a few months now that allows you to include or exclude certain planes from your travel research. This means that a great number of customers have been more than happy to filter out the Boeing 737 Max.

Some travellers are avoiding the Boeing 737 plane after panel blowout
Max 9s were grounded temporarily by America’s Federal Aviation Administration following a cabin panel blowout during an Alaska Airlines flight.

This tidbit of information shows many things.

  • Even if you're in a massively stable duopoly of a business, your brand value cannot be toyed with for too long. Customers will make you pay in one way or another.
  • The airlines who are Boeing's direct customers might have to face this reality where the end customer has more and more tools to become 'technical' about your operations. Even admittedly quite complex ones.
  • The lack of trust in the brand value of one key operator of the value chain (Boeing) simply trickles down to everyone else (the airlines).
  • The hold that consumers' digital applications have on any market is extremely strong. Booking directly from an airline is 90% of the times a losing proposition. Disintermediation is the rule, and years later, said airlines (like hotels or restaurants) are still struggling to find a proper answer.

Looking forward, as AI tools will, in turn, get hold of how we use the internet and make choices, buy products, or book activities, disintermediation will become faster and even less legible for incumbent businesses. Fast forward to 2030, when you'll ask your personal AI to "book a flight for my next business trip." Your AI will both know what you're talking about and what your budget and personal preferences are. The AI will no longer ask you many questions or give you checkboxes to click, asking if a Boeing airliner is OK for this travel.

The AI will have registered Boeing as not an option long ago. Such companies will lose market shares without even understanding why anymore. Worse, how will they change your AI opinion about them?

This is an interesting future we're heading into...

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