FlightView From the Sky blog

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

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

Airline Apps – Room for Improvement?

Posted by Amanda Rogers on Apr 22, 2013 @ 12:46 PM

airline app

When you travel, do you download the airline’s own app, or do you use a variety of different websites and flight tracking apps to get the information you need, like flight information or airport maps? Airline apps do offer some benefits, especially in the pre-boarding stage of a trip like check-in reminders via push notifications, the ability to choose or change your seat, monitoring of stand-by status and flight delay or cancellation notifications. So if airline apps have the ability to provide all this information, why do 25% of the 3,000 travelers who responded to a recent FlightView survey “never” use the airline’s app, and 45% only “sometimes”?

An important aspect when traveling is speed, and one advantage for the airline apps is faster check-in via their apps versus their mobile websites since the apps can save your profile information. But speed can also be a strike against them, since 48% of the travelers FlightView surveyed complained about the poor usability of some airline apps, namely, not being able to find what they’re looking for quickly. Other areas of dissatisfaction were data inaccuracies (an issue for 29% of those surveyed) and lack of desired functionality (an issue for 23% of those surveyed).

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Topics: airlines, tracking, experience, self-service, brand, marketing, mobile, technology, app

The Self-Service Airport Revolution

Posted by Mike Benjamin on Apr 12, 2013 @ 01:02 PM

airport self-service kiosks

Flying to Atlanta last week, it struck me that a familiar part of the airport experience was missing – the staff.  There was a noticeable reduction in the number of agents on duty at ticket and gate counters, but their absence wasn’t causing chaos the way it would have in the past. The reason? Self-service is becoming status quo as travelers are increasingly comfortable using technology to navigate the airport. A passenger can use a kiosk to self check-in, then FIDS (flight information display systems), websites or mobile apps to check flight status which means fewer questions for gate agents to answer.

As it turns out, passengers aren’t only comfortable with self-service, they prefer it. A recent survey from SITA found that the most stressful part of a trip is fear of missing a flight, which is exactly what can happen when travelers have to wait in long lines at bottlenecks like check-in, bag drop and ID-check before going through security. Convenience and speed through processing checkpoints definitely help get passengers to the gate, but self-service options are valued at every point in the trip. The most welcome features among survey participants were flight status updates via mobile phone, self-boarding gates and kiosks for flight transfers.

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Topics: experience, airport, displays, self-service, customer service, boarding, mobile, technology, travel, check-in, SITA

Airline IT Trends Point to Mobile

Posted by Ev Jordan on Apr 08, 2013 @ 01:24 PM

airline IT trends mobile

While senior IT executives at the top 200 airlines worldwide were “cautiously optimistic” about IT investment in a 2012 SITA survey, this much is clear: economic uncertainty and unpredictable jet fuel prices aren’t dampening enthusiasm for upgrading passenger mobile services. In fact, it tops the lists of investments for the second consecutive year, with 60% of airlines planning major investments in mobile passenger services over the next three years. Here’s a look at where those IT dollars will go.

According to SITA’s 2012 Passenger Self-Service survey, 74% of travelers interviewed booked their travel online, but only 3% purchased tickets via mobile devices or social media. Airlines are looking to change that – 70% said that after 2015, mobile will be the second most important sales channel behind the Web. 90% of airlines plan to sell tickets via mobile and 83% will sell ancillary services via mobile. Passengers should be able to purchase ticket modifications and upgrades, preferred boarding access, choice seating, airline lounge access, in-flight amenities and pay baggage fees all via a mobile device by 2015.

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Topics: airlines, tracking, experience, self-service, customer service, ancillary, boarding, mobile, technology, app, check-in, SITA

All Mobile Devices Not Created Equal When Booking Travel?

Posted by Amanda Rogers on Apr 08, 2013 @ 01:07 PM

booking travel on mobile device

Earlier this week I needed to book some flights for an upcoming trip to Boston. Problem is, our computer is at the repair shop being coerced to display something other than the blue screen of death. Not a big deal, we’ve got some mobile devices I can use to search flight options and purchase tickets. Without a second thought, I reflexively reached for the iPad instead of my smartphone to handle the task although I’ve got some online travel agencies’ apps on my phone. I didn’t think much of it until I came across an interesting article on Tnooz suggesting that when it comes to online travel booking, all mobile is not considered equal.

Mobile travel booking consumer behavior

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Topics: booking, mobile, technology, travel, tips

Planning Travel Ahead or Planning En-Route?

Posted by Katherine Wellman on Mar 26, 2013 @ 03:59 PM

Vacation Planning

In the past, people planned and booked key services – flights, hotels, car rental, limousine services – required for their trip days ahead of time and then during the trip, they looked up local activities, events and tours in guide books and went to the kiosk or event desk to learn more as well as purchase tickets.  So the big picture planning and booking was done ahead of time, at the point of ‘inspiration’ for the trip, via online search and booking or working with a travel agent.  Then the day-to-day activities were determined and purchased while en-route after the traveler arrived at his destination and could walk up to the kiosk, learn more and make a purchase. This process was accepted and followed by most travelers, not necessarily because it was their natural inclination, but because it wasn’t feasible to do anything different.

Today, new mobile and big data technologies have broken the constraints of the past.  Mobile solutions are enabling travelers to make reservations for key destination services, such as hotel rooms via HotelsTonight or booking.com or arrange car services with Uber, during their trips.  Meanwhile, these technologies are also enabling travelers to view and book local destination activities and tours, for example with Viator, prior to walking up to the kiosk, while sitting at home or on-the-go.  People can search and scan listings of small, family-operated local services on their mobile devices – view photos, read ratings and reviews, check out menus and other details, and make purchases.  So now travelers have the ultimate in flexibility – booking any part of their trip, from their hotel room to the 1 hour factory tour they wander through one afternoon, while sitting on their couch prior to packing or while ordering a coffee from a local barista after arriving.

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Topics: booking, leisure travel, mobile, travel planning, app, itinerary, big data

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