Why agents should adopt “would you like fries with that?” approach

Why agents should adopt “would you like fries with that?” approach

New research reveals travellers are spending at least $100 for airline ancillary services such as seats, bags and food when travelling.

Global travel technology company, Sabre Corporation has found that travellers would drop a little more money to make their travel a little more “about me”.

Travellers from 20 countries were surveyed about what they would spend and why, with results showing that 80 percent of travellers purchased air extras on their last trip, spending an average of $62.  When asked if they would spend more to personalise their trip, the answer was “yes” – up to $99 if it improved their travel experience.

The research was announced at the IATA World Passenger Symposium in Dubai, as part of a Sabre-hosted industry roundtable on how airlines and hotels can deliver more tailored offers and services to customers.

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Regional differences in ancillary purchases

The survey also found differences between what people from different regions would spend on extras, with Africans willing to spend the most and Asia Pacific travellers the least.

When asked what they would be most likely to spend money on, the most desired ancillaries were cabin class upgrades, on-board food and beverage and preferred seating and extra leg room – all at 11 percent.  This was followed by inflight Wi-Fi (nine percent) and extra checked baggage (nine percent).  The popularity of each ancillary varied between travellers from each region, with North Americans and Europeans choosing preferred seating and extra leg room; Latin Americans opting for on-board Wi-Fi, and Asia Pacific travellers selecting extra checked luggage.  For travellers from Africa and the Middle East, on-board food and beverage, and fast track security respectively topped their pick.

Sabre Airline Solutions vice president EMEA Dino Gelmetti said “it’s clear that while there are regional differences in ancillary preferences, 80 percent of all travellers spend on air extras, representing a significant revenue opportunity for airlines.”

“Airlines know what their travellers want based on the data they have of past purchases. Yet so much of this data remains unused today.  However, by leveraging the latest technology, airlines can unlock this data and show they know their travellers by offering the right products at the right time and tailoring a personalised experience that will improve customer loyalty and generate much needed revenue.”

The study also revealed differences in the time it takes travellers around the world to book trips.  African travellers were the fastest planners, with 33 percent saying they spent less than a day planning their last trip, compared to just 12 percent of travellers from Asia Pacific.  At the other end of the scale, American travellers were the most likely to plan in advance with nine percent taking longer than a month, compared to just three percent of travellers from Africa and the Middle East.

 

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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