It's not hard to notice the service cutbacks that air carriers have put in place the past few years. And, with more business and leisure travelers taking to the air, service providers may find they have to work a little harder to score more bookings. For many airlines, it will come down to marketing what the consumer is looking for.
Business travelers tell research shop Resource Systems Group (RSG) that time is money. When it comes to traveling, this attitude impacts their satisfaction rates. For example, to save an hour, the typical business traveler will pay $85. The average leisure traveler has a more relaxed take on the time topic and will pay only $38 to save an hour. Business travelers like the idea of working while they are in their air and report being more satisfied when Wi-Fi is made available, even when they have to pay for it.
Comfort is also an issue for air travelers. At a time when the average U.S. consumer is getting bigger, the cabin seats seem to be getting smaller. Everyone knows the middle seat is certain to induce leg cramps or worse, so business travelers will pay $26 to avoid that spot. For leisure travelers, avoiding the middle seat is only worth $15.
The biggest convenience for air travelers is online ticket purchase. The vast majority of travelers interact online when researching flights and buying tickets. Nearly all, 90%, research online and 85% buy tickets that way.
Today’s airline travelers are willing to put up with extra baggage fees and a lack of food served in the cabin. But,they will not endure unnecessary wait times or huge discomfort in the cabin. Airlines that craft their marketing messages to address those topics may find their ticket sales rising.
[Source: RSG Finds Air Travelers Willing to Pay. Rsginc.com. 10 Sept. 2012. Web. 20 Sept. 2012]