FlightView From the Sky blog

How Connecting Hubs Can Make or Break a Trip

Posted by Katherine Wellman on Dec 23, 2013 @ 10:16 AM

November, 2013, was a difficult travel month if connecting through any of the major hub airports. Weather was the primary culprit, causing, for example, about one in twenty flights to and from Dallas/Ft. Worth to be cancelled.  At many hubs, flights that did operate, arrived late – and the departures left close to on-time, squeezing connection times and causing travelers to scramble. We've defined those compressed connection times as the "Squeeze Factor", which is a good indicator of whether a traveler will miss their connecting flight.  

We’ve put together an infographic showing 'The Squeeze Factor', an indicator of the “best and worst” hub airports to connect through in November, along with rankings of the best and worst on-time arrival airport performers and the top 6 hubs with the most cancellations in November. 

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Topics: report, flifo, business travel, cancelled, leisure travel, experience, airport, data transparency, delay, big data

5 Key Takeaways from The PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Conference

Posted by Katherine Wellman on Dec 03, 2013 @ 01:17 PM

Just before Thanksgiving, we attended The PhoCusWright Conference for travel industry professionals which Travel & Leisure magazine calls the "epicenter of travel technology". We were impressed by the highly informative and thought-provoking presentations - here are a few of our favorite takeaways and glimpses of innovations that could be helping us all travel smarter in the very near future. 

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Topics: trips, ads, PhoCusWright, business travel, booking, leisure travel, experience, self-service, customer service, social media, mobile, technology, travel planning, travel, itinerary, big data, check-in

The best technology investments for airports - INFOGRAPHIC & FREE REPORT

Posted by Mike Benjamin on Oct 28, 2013 @ 10:19 AM

Airports are making a concerted effort to improve the airport experience for their travelers - but are they making the right decision on how to invest their limited IT budget? 

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Topics: business travel, leisure travel, experience, airport, self-service, customer service, mobile, wifi, technology

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

Flights to France Cancelled this Week! Check FlightView.com for yours

Posted by Bart Littlefield on Jun 11, 2013 @ 11:09 AM

Air France Strike - Paris

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.

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Topics: business travel, booking, cancelled, leisure travel

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

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

Tablets: The Travel Companions Used for Search but Less for Purchase

Posted by Katherine Wellman on Apr 25, 2013 @ 12:16 PM

tablet travel companion

More and more travelers carry tablets on their flights – some using them to accomplish work on the plane while others using them for entertainment or leisure browsing.  Tablets are much friendlier devices to manage while sitting in a “compact” airplane seat than laptops.  They are smaller and lighter and therefore more comfortable to hold in your lap.  Even if you place your tablet on the seatback table, it is less awkward to move around when your neighbor wants to pass in front of you on her way to the restroom.  Tablets are becoming so popular that a few airlines, such as Virgin Australia, have started to rent them to passengers as they board the plane while others, like Delta, deliver mobile in-flight portals for passengers to view on their tablets.

In addition to becoming popular travel companions, tablets are often used when searching for travel-related services – in some cases during the travel itself.  In a recent FlightView survey, where responses from over 3,000 travelers were tallied, 69% reported owning and using a tablet to search for travel services.  Of these folks, 62% had searched for flights, 45% had searched for hotels, and 26% had searched for ground transportation, all over the past 12 months.  While almost 70% of people surveyed searched for flights, just under 50% actually purchased flight tickets on their tablets (49%).  Why don’t they follow through with the booking?  While in the past some folks might have said they were concerned about the security of mobile devices or that their transaction would get lost in-process, this is not the case today.  The top two reasons for not purchasing their tickets on their tablets were the difficulty of entering all the required information on a smaller device (16%) and that people prefer using a laptop or desktop to make their final flight purchases (57%).

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Topics: business travel, booking, leisure travel, experience, self-service, mobile, technology, travel planning

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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