Once a traveller identifies a destination, price, schedules, availability, consumer reviews and more will play a key role in determining which city, airport and accommodation the traveller ultimately chooses. While the traveller may have clear flying preferences, the availability, timing (layover and stopover times) and affordability of flights from his or her home airport – and the airlines that serve each of those markets – often determines travel decisions.
Every company in the travel ecosystem wants a larger share of the planning and booking processes.
Using products like OAG’s Connections Analyser and Minimum Connection Times files, airlines and airports can examine key connection opportunities, coordinate shorter and more effective layovers and offer competitively priced and timed flights mapped to their traveller profiles to increase the booking odds.Read More ▾
Connection times are a powerful marketing tool and often influence positioning on GDS displays, OTAs and metasearch engines. Reviewing connection opportunities and performance to coordinate more convenient layovers and stopovers is an important step to ensure that travellers will book services.
Information like flight times, layover times and historic on-time performance are all key factors that airlines and travel providers can leverage to showcase the convenience of their offerings, and win travellers over at the planning stage with more choice.Read Less ▴
With the advent of airline customer reviews, most providers are using that data along with existing flight information to monitor the passenger experience. Even data on the hottest Airbnb destinations can be leveraged by airlines to consider new route opportunities.
Metrics like improved on-time performance, more efficient deployment of airline staff and reductions in security and customers wait times, for example, are items that when improved, have a direct correlation on customer satisfaction.
For airline and airport operations, the review process is constantly in motion; looking at what type of travellers are flying and to what destination, examining potential underserved routes and new opportunities for connections or route development. This is a detailed and time-intensive process and requires information from every leg of the trip, looking at air traffic flows, route performance, punctuality and more.
Flight information powers the travel ecosystem along every step of the journey, helping providers meet the increased demands of the 21st century traveller, while maintaining operational efficiency and developing new routes in a crowded aviation market.
Today’s travellers get almost anywhere in the world in just a couple of flights and pick from hundreds of airlines, thousands of flights and millions of hotels when planning their trip. With the rise of the sharing economy, options are only growing and becoming more convenient for travellers.
So how do travel providers like airlines, airports, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and meta search engines get a leg up on the competition while a traveller is still in the dreaming phase?
The simple answer: understand the right data and market to the right audience.Read More ▾
Just as the travellers’ options are almost limitless, so is the intelligence that travel leaders have at their disposal. Leveraging data and analysis on key metrics such as seasonal capacity, frequency, network connectivity, passenger traffic flows, origin and destination, underserved routes, regional spikes in demand, historical yield and route competition all deliver ways to offer the traveller more possibilities.
Airlines can build a picture of traveller demand and preference where they can add direct services or offer better connections.Read Less ▴
One of the biggest challenges for travellers is pressing the ‘Book Now’button. The average traveller visits 38 sites before booking, according to a recent Expedia-Compete survey.Read More ▾
Travellers are searching for the most convenient flight times as well as the best schedule offerings. One of the biggest differentiators in the booking process is convenience. This is where actionable information and transparency come into play. Travellers need to know that the information they are looking at in the booking process is the most accurate and up to date in the market.
Additionally, in a 2015 OAG flightview survey, 71% of travellers said they would find on-time flight performance useful when deciding where and who to book with.
On-time performance is critical for airlines and airports; view the results of OAG’s Punctuality League to see where top airlines and airports stack up.Read Less ▴
Converting lookers to bookers is an inflexion point for travel providers looking to improve market share. As travellers continue to suffer from price paralysis, providers should make the booking process as transparent as possible.Read More ▾
Accurate flight schedules and real-time updates are critical for travel providers looking to make sure they are offering the right booking options for travellers. The travel providers with the freshest data will win the day.
The booking process is fast moving and complex, requiring near real-time tracking and a flawless user experience. Travel providers need to manage bookings and rebooks in real-time, ensuring accurate inventory and availability. Additionally, airline schedules need to be up-to-date and consistent in order to maximise sales.
An increased focus on on-time performance is becoming a differentiator for airlines and airports as they work to improve their monthly numbers and gain an edge on the competition.Read Less ▴
The journey doesn’t end for travellers when their flight touches down; in fact, the final leg of travel can often be the most stressful. Deplaning, claiming checked baggage and finding ground transport all require coordination and timing.Read More ▾
Or, if a traveller is connecting, the process becomes even more stressful as travellers need to check the status of their connecting flight, find their new gate and get there in ample time.Read Less ▴
Even when a flight lands, the information process continues. Post-flight is a critical juncture as airlines need fast and efficient deplaning, cabin cleaning and refuelling for the next flight. Third-party services rely on flight status updates to stay up to date with accurate schedules and efficiently deploy resources to keep their clients (the airlines) on schedule.Read More ▾
Leveraging alerts to keep travellers informed on connecting flight status is now an expected service for many travellers and requires an extra level of real-time monitoring from the travel provider. The next stage that many airlines and airports are now looking to provide includes airlines assisted connecting services such as tarmac transfers, security fast tracks and more.Read Less ▴
In a world where more than 100,000 flights take off each day, a single flight is just a drop in the ocean.
What’s often lost in the thousands of flights is the immense amount of data behind the planning, coordination and execution required for airlines, airports and travel providers to meet the needs of the traveller:
The beating heart that keeps this incredibly complex air travel system running: Flight information.
Let us take you through this data journey as we mirror the many legs of the travel process to show how flight information plays a part in each and every step for both the traveller and the travel provider.
Travellers want to feel in control of their end-to-end experience, and expect airports and airlines to offer the convenience, communication and choice to make that possible.Read More ▾
Transparency, real-time updates and communication are no longer nice-to-haves – they are essential to the travel experience. Travellers demand real-time alerts via mobile from airlines and travel providers on flight status, the status of connecting flights, weather, disruptions, airport amenities and more. Consistency in flight information remains critical as travellers are looking for information to be presented conveniently and reliably each time.
The information needs of today’s travellers are only increasing. In the near future, travellers will expect real-time access to security wait times to know exactly when they need to leave home to make it to the gate on time.Read Less ▴
Flight information powers this entire process. Travel providers have found that the more informed a traveller is, the more satisfied they are, and ultimately, more likely to purchase more or upgrade to a premium offering. To build brand loyalty, best-in-class travel providers are using mobile alerts before the traveller even leaves their home to keep them informed, satisfied and most importantly, on schedule.Read More ▾
Travel providers need to monitor the status of hundreds of thousands of flights each day and automatically notify travellers when changes occur – positioning airports, airlines and OTAs to easily send mobile push notifications in the event of a delay, ensuring the traveller doesn’t leave too early for the airport. Transportation providers like Hertz and others use these (APIs) as well to monitor incoming travellers and appropriately ready vehicles and staff desk positions.Read Less ▴
A JD Power survey from 2015 showed that airline satisfaction is at a 20-year high, as airlines are becoming more service orientated. Flight information allows airlines to keep fliers updated on arrival times, connection status, departure gates, baggage claim gates and more.Read More ▾
Travellers continue to have rising expectations for the in-flight experience and are looking to standardise premium options like high-performance WiFi, video streaming, in-seat charging stations and even the ability to pre-order food or drink.Read Less ▴
For airlines and airports, real-time flight information is critical to the onboarding experience – staff the right people at the right gate at the right time and ensure the aircraft is ready for take-off.Read More ▾
Airlines are also upping the ante when it comes to the onboard experience, investing more in high-performance WiFi and other in-flight services in response to consumer demands. Satellite providers delivering this WiFi to aircrafts also rely on real-time data to understand which flights need service.
Even something as simple as gate information is highly dependent on aircraft turnaround, which relies on a number of third parties to operate optimally. Maintenance crews, cleaning crews, de-icing and much more all need to happen on time and these services rely on real-time data to maintain efficiency.Read Less ▴
From push notifications to Flight Information Displays, travellers are using flight and gate information to monitor a variety of timing factors. As the on-demand economy has become more prevalent, travellers are now expecting increased services and premium airport options.Read More ▾
According to an OAG flightview study, nearly 60% of travellers surveyed would be willing to pay for premium services during their travel experiences.
Skyscanner is a great example of a brand that is using data to provide choice, convenience and timely information to passengers. Using accurate data provided by OAG, the world’s leading travel search engine ensures passengers can access up-to-date flight status information right up until the point of departure at more than 80 of the world’s busiest airports. Skyscanner is already catering to the on-demand generation but the next stage for this is offering rebooking, hotel recommendations or on-the-ground transport at the click of a button. It’s this kind of activity that will satisfy the expectations of today’s traveller.Read Less ▴
At the most basic level, airports are leveraging OAG schedules data to understand high capacity times and properly staff security personnel, terminal restaurants and more.Read More ▾
On a more complex level, airports are looking to capitalise on terminal revenue, attempting to maximise the time each traveller spends airside. In fact, according to SITA, for each ten minutes a customer spends in a security line, it reduces his or her retail spend in the airport by up to 30 percent.
Some of the most progressive airports have started installing displays that show the average security wait time and gate displays with the actual location of an inbound aircraft servicing an outbound flight – giving travellers a more accurate sense of when the flight will actually arrive, board and depart.
Airports are also stepping up their personalisation game, implementing alerts and notifications through mobile and wearable technology for retail and restaurant offers. For retail stores in airport terminals, understanding passenger mix is critical to product offerings, resourcing, specific promotion opportunities and more. Origin, destination and seat configuration data allows retailers to understand critical customer info, informing passenger profile and product choice.Read Less ▴
An entirely smooth travel process can change on a moment’s notice in the event of a delay or cancellation. Travellers now demand being kept up-to-date in the event of delays and cancellations and want immediate rebooking options at the touch of a button.Read More ▾
One of the primary stressors on the day of travel is a cancellation or major delay, and travellers have long pushed for better rebooking options. According to a recent survey, travellers expect a much more sophisticated approach to rebooking than what is currently offered by travel providers.
85 percent of the survey respondents would prefer having multiple rebooking options sent to their phones so they can pick the itinerary that works best for them – instead of the airline automatically assigning a new flight.Read Less ▴
To provide a more sophisticated rebooking approach and improve customer service levels during disruptions, travel providers need real-time flight status information.Read More ▾
Take an airport, for example, with three planes that are delayed at a connecting hub. The result: six flights will now be arriving within a 30-minute window. Airlines and airports will need to update ground crews and reassign terminal resources to accommodate the shift in capacity.
With accurate flight information that’s easily shared and acted upon, the entire process becomes easier and more efficient: travel providers can effectively manage minimum connection times, airports can create a smoother terminal experience, airlines can better manage resources and connecting flights can be notified of the delay.Read Less ▴