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.
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.
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
Last year terminal concession revenues from retail, food & beverage, and services totaled $1.5 Billion, or over 20% of all non-aeronautical revenue at U.S. airports, according to ACI-NA’s 2013 Airport Concessions Benchmarking Survey. Passenger spend on airport concessions has been slowly inching up each year, but not in-line with the cost and effort airports and airlines are funneling in to terminal retrofitting and redesigns. So what’s the best bang for your buck when it comes to IT investments that will improve the airport experience?
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
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%).