For millions of passengers, a perceived lack of control on their day of travel is a nagging stress point.
Passengers are used to having immediate access to convenience and information through their mobile devices as they go about their daily lives, but travel days rarely give them an opportunity to take control, of almost anything.
Want to turn on your hallways lights from halfway around the world? There’s an app for that.
Want to pre-order a turkey sandwich before you board or pay to jump the queue before you get to the gate? Tough luck.
In spite of improvements to many individual functions of the travel ecosystem, most travelers lack the convenience and control they expect. Even for road warriors who regularly use a series of apps to solve their travel challenges, the entire day of journey is as stressful as ever.
Put simply, every travel app does its own thing and there just isn’t a consistent experience for travelers across the different stages of their journey - dreaming, planning, booking, experiencing and sharing. And this ‘chaos’ of the current travel app ecosystem makes it very difficult for airlines and other travel merchants to build and manage customer relationships – and do all that profitably.
So how can airlines solve this challenge? By always being there for their customers.
In the crowded, siloed world of travel apps, airlines need to position their apps as delivery mechanisms for convenience and delight, providing concierge-level service to the connected traveler. Passengers need to be able to use the app anytime, anywhere and for anything – booking flights and hotels, shopping at the airport, ordering limo service upon arrival, and using their loyalty points and miles as currency.
At Guestlogix, we call this “The Always There” concierge.
The goal isn’t just for airlines to sell more stuff and increase revenue – though an extended selling window is one of the main benefits of a concierge app. The goal is also to curate experiences and deliver what travelers want at every single moment, inextricably linking an airline’s or travel merchant’s brand with a positive, smooth travel experience.
Think about how apps like WeChat and Uber have become connectors to so many different services (food delivery, bill payment, co-branded cards) rather than narrowly defining the services they offer. This increases revenue and makes it easier for everyone to serve their common customers. Airlines need an app that can do that – unify travel services in the direct (i.e., mobile) channel for the connected traveler. Each brand can customize the guest app to suit their business, revenue goals, and unique passenger needs while the passenger continues using the same app – no need to download 5 or 6 of them.
The more airlines are able to connect with their passengers beyond the flight – acting as the ‘bridge’ between technology, value and need – the more happy, loyal and stress-free those passengers will be.
Beyond the booking path
Airlines and other travel companies are in a unique position to tap into a whole new world of revenue and loyalty opportunities beyond the booking path and flight... serving travelers while they’re in-flight, through destination and back home.
But that starts with making their journey less stressful, disconnected and impersonal.
Passengers already have smartphones full of travel apps – what they need is a better way to connect all those different services across the day of journey. “The Always There” approach is our vision for overcoming the current disconnect in how passengers experience travel while providing airlines with the solution they have been waiting for.
Interested in reading more on this topic and solving passenger stress points? Here’s a recent blog you should enjoy.