Online Travel Agencies Struggle With Multiple Consumer Preferences
Several factors play into what makes travelers prefer one provider over another, such as the site’s ease-of-use, and the way flights are presented.Online travel agents (OTAs) and meta-search providers are missing a major opportunity to drive more customer loyalty and stickiness by failing to engage with customers when they travel, according to the results of a study by FlightView. The report indicated proactive itinerary and flight updates are no longer a nice-to-have for travelers, with 87 percent of the 2,066 travelers surveyed expecting updates on the status of their flight sent directly to their phone on the day they travel. Nearly one-half said they want travel providers to go one step further and alert the relevant parties affected by their itinerary changes—47 percent want their hotel notified, 46 percent want updates sent to family and friends and 38 percent want ground transportation alerted. "OTAs and third-party travel providers have been trying to figure out how to increase usage and maximize customer engagement," Mike Benjamin, CEO of FlightView, said in a statement. "One solution is proactively providing better, more actionable information and capabilities. More than 85 percent of the travelers we surveyed said they would return to the provider that they purchased their ticket from if they were offered more valuable information during their trip."
According to respondents, several factors play into what makes travelers prefer one provider over another, with one-half highlighting the site’s ease-of-use, and 41 percent noting the importance in the way flights are sorted and presented.