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Becoming the “Amazon of Travel” Should Not Be a Goal for Airlines

CarTrawler-sponsored analysis shows airlines how to stop treating air travel as a commodity and dominate the travel planning process.

October 15, 2019, Shorewood, Wisconsin and Dublin, Ireland It’s hard to believe we are nearing the 24th anniversary of airline websites—Alaska Airlines sold the first air travel ticket online in December 1995. Fast forward to today, airline websites still promote two core functions:  transactions and information retrieval.  At present, airline websites are little more than cash registers surrounded by shelves of merchandise. This report encourages airlines to move from a transaction focus to become robust retailers of travel.  Here are some of the findings and recommendations from the report:

  • Some airlines, such as Allegiant in the US and Jet2.com in the UK, have websites that entice robust holiday bookings. For example, package holiday passengers represent 48.3% of all Jet2.com passengers.
  • But the results disclosed by JetBlue in the US exemplify typical results for airlines. Among all customers buying air travel directly from JetBlue, approximately 1.4% book a JetBlue Vacation.
  • Tech giants, such as Google and Amazon, do have disadvantages. They find themselves in a constant race with scammers who use all sorts of tricks to try to game systems, and they struggle to keep up with removal of fraudsters.

To compete online, airlines should establish a presence at every step in a travel storytelling process from choosing to travel, inspiration, and taking action.  They need to make a much greater effort if they wish to be thought of as trusted resources for travel inspiration.

“It is obvious that airlines can no longer afford to offer customers a one-dimensional flight experience,” says Aileen McCormack, Chief Commercial Officer at CarTrawler. “The era of the frustrated passenger is swiftly coming to an end – now, a select few trailblazing airlines are providing a better customer experience that other carriers must emulate if they are not to be left behind. Customers now expect superior choice and a compelling value proposition, and by owning the last mile and offering them exactly what they desire, airlines can utilise the sophisticated data insights they generate to improve the customer experience even further.”

Members of the public should be directed to the following link if they wish to view the report: http://bit.ly/33lgaJq