Personalizing Experiences with Laura Hornbake, Head of Digital Analytics at Lufthansa

  • Tom Boon-169

    IATA/ICAO code:

    Airline type:
    Full service carrier

    Frankfurt Airport, Munich Airport

    Year of foundation:

    star alliance

    Air group:
    Lufthansa Group

    Carsten Spohr


Earlier this year, Lufthansa Group announced a partnership with unified commerce leader Kibo to optimize and personalize traveler experiences across all digital channels. The European aviation powerhouse stressed that it chose to align itself with Kibo to provide a consistent and engaging offer to its customers.

Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), Kibo delivers personalized omnichannel experiences. It has collaborated with Reebok and Office Depot with its API-first microservices-based architecture. So, with industry strongholds under its belt, there are plenty of prospects to be had in the airspace.


To learn more about how passenger experiences will be improved, Simple Flying took the opportunity to speak with Dr. Laura J. Hornbake, Head of Digital Analytics for Lufthansa Group Hub Airlines. To meet the requirements of Lufthansa and other members of the group, including Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and SWISS, the experience of millions of people would be influenced by the Kibo partnership, even at the very beginning of the initiative.

Clear focus

Sumit Singh: What does your department focus on?

Laura Hornbake: My digital analytics department works in digital commerce to create value in the form of data, insights and learnings about customers and their behaviors. Then, along with our other digital commerce colleagues, we drive the use of this data to improve customer satisfaction and increase revenue.

We do this by experimenting on the digital platform to measure the changes we make to improve the customer experience, and by delivering targeted, data-driven experiences to try to make it easier for customers to navigate information or services. most relevant to them.

SS: How important is adaptation in this department to provide a better customer experience?

LH: I’m really proud to work in one of the most innovative and dynamic parts of the Lufthansa Group, where we are constantly learning and adapting based on what customers are telling us through data. This has been especially true over the past few years as we have seen big changes in our customers’ needs and expectations. We really had to step up the pace of our programs, especially experimentation, which is why Kibo is such an important partner for us.

Data can make all the difference in customer relations. Photo: Lufthansa

The right partner

SS: It would be great to learn more about Kibo and why the Lufthansa Group chose to partner with the company.

LH: The Kibo Personalization Platform combines a few powerful features that allow organizations to test, learn, and launch customer experiences at scale: A/B testing, product recommendations, social proof messaging, personalized search, and AI-based individual customization. .

Lufthansa Group has chosen to partner with Kibo to personalize and optimize web and app experiences in communications for online visitors and passengers. With Kibo Personalization, we can see rapid return on investment (ROI) through smart, easy-to-use features such as testing and experimentation, leveraging state-of-the-art, one-to-one personalization.

We appreciate that Kibo Personalization has an agile and easy to use platform with the support of tactical and strategic expertise. We also anticipate that working with Kibo Personalization will accelerate our test and learn approach to improving our digital platforms.

SS: How can the Lufthansa Group provide a personalized experience across all digital touchpoints with Kibo?

LH: Kibo will allow us to launch personalized experiences for our visitors and passengers, such as countdown timers, price drop information, and the ability to upgrade seat options. We are able to run tests to see the impact of different copy, content, or visual changes, and then look at analytics by channel or by customer data, such as country. Then we can iterate and launch these experiences or further customize them based on the impact on key metrics like conversion rate. This allows us to deliver consistent experiences across all channels that deliver the best customer experiences.

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Wider Benefits

SS: What are the cost advantages?

LH: We’re excited about the initial revenue increases we’ve seen with Kibo Personalization. Kibo Personalization’s built-in analytics make it easy to show the impact of different tests or personalized experiences on conversion rates. But not all experiences are tied to a monetary outcome; we may be looking at engagement metrics to improve the customer experience, for example. Additionally, by creating a test and learn approach, we get the benefit of learning from experiences that may not show positive feedback.

SS: What can we expect with the program?

LH: By extending Kibo Personalization to Lufthansa Group airlines, we will boost our experimentation and optimization programs. We will continue to experiment in order to provide the best experience for our customers.

SS: Is there anything else you would like to point out?

LH: An African proverb says: “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together”. We are delighted to intensify our partnership to further enhance our customers’ shopping experience.

What do you think of the partnership between Lufthansa and Kibo? What do you think of the global movement? Let us know what you think of the initiative and its prospects in the comments section.

Lance B. Holton