Travelers Are Willing To Pay Airports & Airlines A Premium For More Convenience, Communication & Choice
Consolidation across the airline industry, resource constraints and maybe even inaccurate assumptions about what travelers value could be getting in the way of airports and airlines delivering the kind of experience travelers truly want, expect and – perhaps surprisingly – are willing to pay more for.
FlightView’s latest travel report – Convenience & Choice: What Travelers Want Most (And are Willing to Pay For) throughout Their Journey – reveals new, unexpected revenue opportunities airport and airline executives should seriously consider, based on insights gathered from more than 2,300 travelers.
“Ultimately, it comes down to convenience, communication and choice,” said Mike Benjamin, CEO of FlightView, the day-of-travel information company. “That’s what today’s travelers want and are willing to dig deeper in their pockets for – whether they’re planning a trip, booking their ticket, waiting at the airport, boarding, flying or arriving at their destination. Our survey found that airport and airline executives may be overlooking a real opportunity to drive new revenues and improve the travel experience.”
The Real Ticket to More Revenue and Repeat Customers: Removing the Roadblocks
Travelers want a fast, easy and hassle-free experience with no lines, waiting, stops or setbacks. And today – they’re willing to invest more money and miles in the airports and airlines that deliver that kind of experience.
FlightView’s new survey uncovered three areas where airports and airlines should offer more services in order to increase share-of-wallet throughout a traveler’s journey:
- Direct flights. Nearly 75% of travelers surveyed can’t find direct flights when they want them, and 70% would be willing to pay even more for a direct flight from their local airport when connecting flights are the only option. While rolling out new routes, and attracting new airlines is never that simple, exploring and uncovering where there’s sufficient demand and capacity for direct flights to specific destinations could lead to more revenue and profitability for airports and airlines. And for airports – there’s certainly money to be lost, as nearly 60% of travelers surveyed said they’re willing to bypass their local airport and drive farther for access to a direct flight.
- Premium services. On the ground and at the airport – nearly 60% of travelers surveyed said they’d be willing to pay for premium services, including RFID tags on luggage for real-time tracking (53%), temporary gate-side bag check for easier shopping and dining (40%), curbside rental car pickup (35%), and flight status alerts that are automatically sent to their ground transportation, hospitality, and tour services (26%). In the air, 50% of travelers are willing to pay more for premium services, including high-performance WiFi with streaming capabilities (64%), in-seat charging stations (50%) and texting capabilities (31%).
- Real-time flight information & operational efficiency. More than 85% of travelers surveyed said they regularly shop, dine and drink at the airport before boarding the plane. Proven time and again, the more downtime a traveler has while at the airport, and the more informed a traveler feels, the more money he or she will spend. To maximize that window of opportunity – airports need to quickly move travelers through security, and keep them informed on their flight’s status, with alerts sent to their mobile phones, tablets and/or wearable devices. Wearable devices, specifically, offer a new avenue for keeping travelers informed. Of the nearly 1,500 travelers surveyed who use wearable devices, 90% want airlines, airports and travel providers to send information and alerts to their wearable devices on the day they’re traveling.
“People want to be in control of their end-to-end travel experiences with options and information that help minimize the stress and hassle,” said Benjamin. “Now’s a good time for airport and airline executives to re-assess where they’re focused, and explore these new opportunities to improve revenue and customer satisfaction.”
For more insights from FlightView most recent survey, download a copy of the full report: Convenience & Choice: What Travelers Want Most (And Are Willing to Pay for) Throughout their Journey.