The Key to Seamless Online Booking to Attract Loyal Airline Customers
Airlines that provide a seamless online booking experience are more likely to see customers rebook with the brand and purchase additional air services.
According to new research from IBS Software and Censuswide, which surveyed 2,010 consumers in the UK and US over the past 18 months, an improved online experience would convince nearly three-quarters of travellers, 72%, of rebook with the airline. This exceeds the cost of why they would return to a carrier.
Moreover, 71% of travelers say that a positive online experience would even persuade them to purchase additional services from the airline as well.
Travelers cite easy access to flexible bookings through an app as the most important element of a seamless online booking experience, followed by seamless access to travel documents, including insurance and map boarding fees and the ability to easily unlock discounts on transfers, upgrades and food and beverages.
Lower priorities include access to vacation and travel packages on an app, digital advice on COVID travel requirements, on-demand customer service with live chats, and access to maps showing testing locations COVID nearby.
By age, 46% of young customers aged 16-24 want flexible bookings through an app, compared to 38% of those over 55. Among older travelers, 51% prioritize the ability to unlock discounts on transfers, upgrades, and food and beverage, compared to 39% of younger consumers.
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Interestingly, 72% of respondents think airlines actually offer seamless online travel compared to other industries, but 33% think more could be done.
33% of travelers also say airlines don’t target them with positive experiences such as personalized offers, but of those, 71% say they would fly with an airline if they did.
Travelers say their top complaints with airlines include customer service (52%), being inundated with a large number of offers online (41%) and worrying about cybersecurity and online payments (31%).
“An important takeaway from this data is the value that can come from knowing your customer. If 41% of respondents say being inundated with irrelevant online offers and services is one of their biggest problems with online airline bookings, that’s a gigantic signal for the world. industry to do better. Airlines need to pay close attention to online customer journeys and use relevant data captured to ensure the initial booking process is as seamless and positive as the travel experience ahead,” says Philip Hinton, senior vice president of IBS Software.
“As we continue to work on recovery in the industry, paying close attention to this passenger journey with relevant personalization is what will differentiate airlines from the competition and unlock that all-important 72% flyer to increase bottom line. net with repeat bookings.”