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Digital experiences key in flight booking decision making


Young British travellers are increasingly being influences by the standard of digital experience offered by airlines, hotels and travel agents, according to new research from Travelport.


The ‘Global Digital Traveller Research’ report, which surveyed 23,000 people from 20 countries, found that two thirds (67%) of millennials in the UK actively consider a good digital experience when booking a flight, while 41% consider it when booking accommodation and 48% find it frustrating if booking information isn’t available 24/7 on mobile devices.

The generational gap is apparent, as only 25% of Gen X and 20% of baby boomers had the same digital expectations.

According to the study, when researching a trip 83% of millennial travellers in the UK (83%) review videos and photos posted by travel brands on social media, with 27% stating that they ‘always’ do this. For millennials, Gen X and baby boomers, Facebook is considered the most influential social media platform, but for the emerging Gen Z traveller, Instagram came out on top.

Nilo Srinivasan, head of account management for the United Kingdom at Travelport, said: “Demand for high-quality digital experiences is notably high among all travellers, but is especially important to millennial travellers in the UK. This shouldn’t come as a surprise bearing in mind just how high the bar has been set in recent years by trailblazers in travel and other industries; as well as the fact this age group are digital natives. Demand for a good digital experience does mean that businesses should now really be offering them as standard; with differentiation and the deepening of engagement with customers achieved through excellence.”

When it comes to flying, 52% of millennials from the UK prefer to personalise their flight through add-ons like extra legroom seats and additional baggage, but 60% said it’s hard to understand what’s included as standard and 63% don’t know what add-ins are available. Over a third (39%), also get frustrated if companies don’t remember their preferences.

Travelport’s study also revealed that 40% of UK millennials now want augmented or virtual reality experiences to help them better plan their trips, compared with 26% of Gen X travellers and 12% of baby boomers. 38% of millennials have used voice search when booking travel, with the most common searches relating to the weather at their destinations (53%) and directions to their hotel (49%).

Sirinivasan added: “We expect the range and sophistication of questions asked through voice search to expand exponentially as more travel specific capabilities are introduced. easyJet is a great example of a company embracing voice search. The Speak Now feature on its app, developed by Travelport, will enable customers to search for flight options in a matter of seconds. And it’s not just about speed. Importantly, features like this also help make travel booking easier and more accessible for the visually impaired.”

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©2019 by Custard Publishing | www.custardcommunications.com

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