In just a short time, “Big Data” went from a marketing buzzword to headline news (and not always for the better, if you’ve been paying attention to the media lately!) It can definitely seem invasive or disturbing for consumers to know that a someone’s collecting information on you, but travel and hospitality companies are doing so in hopes of creating a better travel experience.
Why travel companies collect customer data
O Mon dieu! Just as summer season kicks in to high gear (and timed to protest a speech by the EU’s transportation commissioner promoting cost-saving efficiencies in the European air traffic control system) the French air traffic controllers have announced three days of strikes beginning Tuesday. France’s civil aviation authority has asked airlines serving airports in Paris, Lyon, Nice, Marseilles, Toulouse and Bordeaux to halve their flight schedules through late Thursday.
If you are planning on traveling to, from or through France this week, you’ll want to check to see if your scheduled flight is among those cancelled.
If you’re like me, you avoid purchasing ancillary services like the plague when you book your airline ticket. After feeling as though I’ve finally succeeded at finding the lowest fare to my destination, at least for the moment, I have no interest in spending more money on in-flight Wi-Fi, extra bags, early boarding privileges, or a lounge day pass (I’m 5’ 1” so extra legroom is a bit unnecessary for me). In fact, with so many extra fees associated with booking airline tickets today, I feel great about getting away with 1 fee plus tax!
But how about the day I fly? I may have gotten up at 4am to make an outbound flight and now it is 7pm and I’m arriving at the airport to catch a 9:30pm flight home. I’m exhausted and that airline lounge sounds mighty appealing for the next 2 hours. Or I may have arrived at the gate only to find out the plane is completely full; meanwhile I know I need to bring my bag on the flight so I can quickly deplane and grab a cab to a business meeting. Paying for early boarding privileges is ideal.
Increases in thunderstorms, travelers and ticket prices mark the beginning of the summer travel season, which is only a few weeks away. Airlines for America is predicting packed flights for the July to August stretch due to a record number of people traveling internationally and a brighter economic outlook. Add in unpredictable and sometimes dangerous summer storms, and you’ve got a recipe for stressful travel. While there’s not much we can do about the ticket prices, we have a few tips to help you have a better travel experience this summer.
Summer Travel Tip #1
Do you Wi-Fi when you fly? On a flight from D.C. to Boston last weekend with our antsy toddler, I seriously considered coughing up the cash for in-flight internet service even though we’d only be in the air a short time. But the weird thing is, it didn’t cross my mind to purchase Wi-Fi until the flight attendant made the announcement that it was available. It seems I was on the same page as many of our respondents in a recent FlightView traveler survey where 71% of travelers hadn’t purchased add-on services like Wi-Fi via an airline’s mobile website or app, but almost 60% would consider it if a notification was pushed to their device before boarding.
In-flight wi-fi options