FlightView From the Sky blog

Why Data Transparency is Critical for Travel Providers

Posted by Scott Kahan on Nov 11, 2013 @ 03:39 PM

Answering the phones at FlightView can be a very interesting experience.  Many travelers, shippers, expeditors, meeters and greeters, friends and worried family members see the real-time flight information on our website - or on one of the hundreds of websites that we power - and assume that since we have a lot of information about the day of travel, we must have all of the information on the day of travel, including answers to their unique personal situation.  In fact, it's so hard for these folks to find a phone number for their actual travel service provider that they dial us.  When it comes to questions from inbound calls, some staff favorites include a guy who asked if customs would charge him more if he brought his new inheritance back from Europe as gold or cash, as well as a woman who wondered whether her husband had brought a mistress on his flight (we suggested he call the office of border control and that she call a marriage counselor).

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Topics: airlines, tracking, customer service, data transparency, flight

When Is the Right Time to Sell Business Travelers Upgrades?

Posted by Mike Benjamin on Aug 24, 2013 @ 02:24 PM

Austrian Air is offering an interesting way for its fliers to purchase business class upgrades via auction. By naming their price, Austrian’s customers are bidding on the chance to enjoy business class amenities for economy class prices. The catch is that fliers must submit their
bids when booking their flights – then 72 hours before takeoff, Austrian will accept or deny their offers. This is an innovative strategy, but the timing of the airline's upgrade offer doesn’t coincide with the natural buying behavior of fliers. Gamble In our business traveler survey, we found that airlines are missing a major opportunity to earn more ancillary revenue by pushing upgrade offers to fliers at the right time – on the day they fly, and in the right place – via their mobile phones.

Top day-of-travel ancillary purchases

The top ancillary fees business travelers we surveyed would pay for on the                       day-of-travel include:

  • In-flight WiFi 65.3%
  • Seat with extra legroom 55.4%
  • Business- or first-class ticket upgrade 50.2%
  • Early boarding privileges 43.0%

Business traveler purchasing behavior

Business travelers are opportunistic purchasers – think about it, are you more likely to lay out even more cash when you’re booking tickets from the comfort of your home or office, or is the opportunity to buy access to business class lounges and fast-lane service more appealing during unforeseen delays when you’re stuck at the airport?

When fliers are more likely to pay ancillary fees

By pushing business-class upgrade opportunities to economy travelers a few hours before their flight, Austrian avoids the disappointment and possible resentment fliers will feel if their bids aren’t accepted. Although Austrian’s business-class amenities aren’t offered a-la-carte, the full-flat bed or guaranteed empty adjacent seat, priority boarding and fast-lane service hit right in the sweet spot of upgrades fliers are willing to pay the ancillary fee on their way to the airport or as they wait at the gate.

What’s your take – would you rather gamble in advance on the possibility of an upgrade at a price you think is fair, or buy a guaranteed one in real-time for a price the airline sets?

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Topics: business travel, airlines, ancillary, wifi

Which Amenities should Airlines Include in the Price of Airfare?

Posted by Katherine Wellman on Jul 23, 2013 @ 04:06 PM

Airlines vary as to which amenities they include in the price of their plane tickets and which ones they sell separately – with the primary goal of optimizing revenue, and for some, wanting to position themselves as a premium vs. low cost carrier.    But it is an interesting Boarding Passes at the ready optimization problem to determine which amenities to include in the price of the ticket and which to offer as an add-on for an extra cost. 

What amenties will travelers pay extra for?

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Topics: business travel, airlines, brand, marketing, ancillary

Why Ancillary Services Go Hand-In-Hand with Mobile

Posted by Katherine Wellman on Jun 07, 2013 @ 11:23 AM

ancillary services airlines mobile

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.

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Topics: airlines, marketing, ancillary, boarding, mobile, wifi

Where's My Plane?

Posted by Scott Kahan on Jun 06, 2013 @ 11:29 AM

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Topics: business travel, cancelled, airlines, tracking, airport, displays, weather, customer service, flight, technology, delay, travel planning

Top 3 Tips for Summer Travel

Posted by Mike Benjamin on May 15, 2013 @ 11:37 AM

summer travel tips

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

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Topics: cancelled, leisure travel, airlines, tracking, airport, weather, self-service, technology, delay, travel planning, app, travel, tips

In-Flight Wi-Fi, When and How Do You Buy?

Posted by Amanda Rogers on May 14, 2013 @ 11:47 AM

in flight wifi 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

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Topics: airlines, ancillary, mobile, wifi, technology, app

The Importance of Good Flight Status Info for Codeshare Flights

Posted by Mike Benjamin on May 03, 2013 @ 11:48 AM

codeshare flight status
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Topics: booking, airlines, tracking, self-service, customer service, marketing, mobile, flight, app, codesharing

The Purchasing Habits of Today's Mobile Traveler - Infographic

Posted by Katherine Wellman on Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:54 AM

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Topics: business travel, booking, leisure travel, airlines, experience, self-service, customer service, ancillary, mobile, technology, travel planning, app

When Airport Self-Service Goes Wrong

Posted by Mike Benjamin on Apr 24, 2013 @ 12:19 PM

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Topics: business travel, airlines, experience, airport, self-service, customer service, boarding, mobile, flight, technology, delay, app

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