Airlines are constantly looking for new revenue streams that win them loyal passengers. Given how the coronavirus pandemic has devastated the travel sector, it has become even more important for airlines to look beyond ticket sales to run profitably.
Increasingly, airlines have found that the modern traveler—with dozens of choices to pick from—prefers an all-around satisfactory travel experience rather than a few customizations.
This reality means that airlines need to quickly adapt, moving up the value chain to provide wholesome travel experiences that passengers can cherish for a lifetime.
Here are just a few ways of ensuring that.
Nearly nothing enhances a passenger’s experiences on a flight than a hot meal, snack, or drink served by a friendly member of the flight crew.
Airlines like Austrian Airlines and Alaska Airlines allow passengers to order food on their smartphone while others, such as Virgin America, Norwegian, Azul, etc. have kicked things up a notch by letting passengers order drinks and food through the in-flight entertainment system.
Airlines can further provide business travelers with the option of accessing Wi-Fi and business lounges, thanks to the New Distribution Capability that allows airlines to sell using rich data. For tourists and other retail customers, airlines can provide on-demand video options at the push of a button, which will serve to enhance the travel experience.
With airline chatbots, you now even have the option of making the process of booking delightful. Based on past booking and the conversation up to a point, you can have AI-powered chatbots providing recommendations that resonate with the passenger.
Superior loyalty benefits
Proving loyalty benefits can be a great way to boost corporate bookings and even retail ticket sales. You can tap into the goldmine of data that you have at your disposal and make sure that loyal passengers have all their needs attended to without even having to ask.
Customization is key here; you need to make sure that you provide the right incentive to the right person who is most likely to appreciate the entertainment, lodging, food, or transport offers you provide them with.
Travel packages that resonate with the target audience
If your airline provides tours to religious sites, such as the Holy Land, Hajj, etc., or even generally cater to tourists, it would be a great idea to partner with service provides like hotels and tour operators. Doing this will ensure that airlines can generate revenue from the whole trip rather than only selling tickets.
Most importantly, it will make life easier for passengers, as they can have their entire trip’s needs met in one place.
Given that layovers can be frustrating, airlines also can provide passengers with the ability to pre-order food.
Providing this level of personalization and seamless travel experience will undoubtedly lead to passengers choosing your airline the next time they decide to fly.
Even when passengers have left the airport, airlines have the opportunity of serving them with GPS-enabled apps that can point the person to local hotels, car rentals, etc. operated by partners.
Also, based on where the person is located, airlines can provide them with relevant offers, promotions, and rewards.
Offering this level of service can go a long way in leaving a lasting impression on the mind of the passenger, making your airline their first choice when they want to travel.
The use of beacons
Beacons, which are portable and wireless devices installed at airports, have great potential for enhancing the passenger experience. They essentially interact with nearby mobile devices to provide passengers with personalized welcome messages, flight confirmation information, and also details regarding the gate to head to.
For emerging out of the pandemic in good shape, airlines need to focus incessantly on making air travel a memorable experience. As a result, they need to lose the ticket seller mentality and move even beyond traditional ancillary products and sell more experience-oriented products based on user behavior.