Learn how to deliver the flight shopping experience your customers expect
When 80% of flight shoppers are comparing offers from multiple websites when booking a flight, how do you ensure your offers don’t get left behind? What influences these flight shoppers to actually purchase a flight from you? How can you create a best-in-class shopping experience for your customers? Our annual survey answers these questions and shows you how you can meet—and exceed—flight shoppers’ expectations.
Each year, ATPCO conducts a survey to ensure the content we’re creating with airlines aligns with what flight shoppers want to purchase. We surveyed 500 flight shoppers from 30 different countries who had traveled at least three times in 2022 and purchased a flight online for business or leisure. We’re here to share the insights with you so you can start taking the next step toward unlocking the power of true modern airline retailing.
Visual content throughout the flight shopping experience is a necessity
More than two-thirds of survey respondents said they would book a 33% more expensive flight if it was paired with visual content, as opposed to the cheaper flight with no visual content. The answer to the question of visuals’ importance and influence during the flight booking flow seems obvious.
The respondents’ preferences of these visuals and what they see during the booking process is also significantly important to the overall booking experience. It’s not just about describing what the onboard experience will be like—it’s about defining it. Of the respondents, 83% said they prefer to see images of the aircraft and amenities that feature real people and passengers. Incorporating these best practices when airlines create marketing or aircraft photos will add further value to the flight shopping experience.
Priority services and “extras” are in high demand, and visuals amplify them
When flight shoppers are presented with “extras” like seat selection, extra legroom, checked bags, and carry-ons, 91% want to purchase them through online travel sites. This is a 21 percentage point increase from last year’s response, indicating the crucial importance of offering up ancillaries during the booking journey. Not only are “extras” driving more purchases, but offering priority services are, too: 41% of respondents stated that priority services like priority boarding, check in, and fast lane security are most influential when considering what can be upgraded for their flight.
Visuals influence the upgrade decision as well—especially with 70% of respondents stating they were more likely to upgrade from basic economy to economy if they were presented with visual images of the offer. If you’re not showcasing and supporting fare upsell, ancillaries, and more, with professional photos and imagery throughout the booking experience, it’s time to start now because accompanying priority services and “extras” with visual components is crucial to ensuring you're not missing out on real revenue opportunities.
Flight shoppers’ understanding of code share flights remains low
Since ATPCO is now currently working with triple the number of airlines on code share content, we wanted to revisit this concept with those surveyed. However, with less than half of respondents (40%) able to accurately describe a code share flight, it’s clear that there is still room for improvement and understanding around what a code share flight is and what it actually means for them if they select this type of flight.
However, after respondents were given a brief explanation of what a code share flight means, they wanted to know more about things like reciprocal benefits, lounge access, check-in location, and mileage rewards. This data reiterates the importance of creating UPAs (Universal Product Attributes) in order to clearly and consistently address questions and concerns surrounding the code share flight experience.
Consistent visual branding is a must-have
Maybe you’ve read through all these insights and are wondering, “Well, now what? How do I start meeting flight shoppers' needs and expectations?” It’s time to take the first step into unlocking true modern airline retailing for your customers. A visual experience is in demand, and having no visuals means you’re losing revenue.
With flight shoppers searching for flights across multiple websites, consistent visual branding across those channels is imperative. Showing your customers what fare brands they’re booking with real people and images is a “must have” today, rather than just a “nice to have.”
With ATPCO’s Routehappy merchandising solution, you can start incorporating best-in-class merchandising tactics. Give your customers the full, visual picture of your airline offer with targeted information, messaging, and visuals to differentiate and showcase your offers. Start creating a customer-centric experience for your flight shoppers today.
*ATPCO surveyed 500 respondents ages 18 and up from various regions across Latin American & Caribbean, North America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA.
By Alex Snape
As a senior content strategist, Alex works with airline clients to create accurate, relevant, and inspiring merchandising content that captures the uniqueness of each airline’s brand. He focuses on delivering quality digital messaging and visuals that enhance the flight shopping experience by providing customers with highly targeted information about the exact product that they’re buying. Alex is an experienced writer and aviation enthusiast. Born and raised in New Jersey, he has traveled to various countries around the world, speaks French, and now calls London home.