In this high tech age where Netflix predicts what we want to watch and Amazon knows what we want to buy, consumers want more and travellers are no different.
Rather than a cheap trip, they want the perfect trip. And just as Netflix and Amazon can cater to and even preempt their individual needs and wants, they want you to do the same.
A new study by travel tech giant Sabre has revealed that 55% of travellers are on the hunt for more than just the cheaper fare when booking travel.
As a result, the company is investing in cutting edge technology that keeps it well and truly on today’s innovation curve.
“Today’s consumers are savvy,” Sabre product marketing manager Diane Dunigan said.
“They are presented with so many options to personalize their experiences in daily life so they certainly want to be able to find and book their perfect trip.”
So what does that look like? We’re talking the best fare for them – a personalised travel experience with all the bells and whistles that suit their individual needs.
And interestingly, they’re happy to pay up to 25% more per fare for this kind of customised treatment. So it definitely makes good business sense to deliver.
Here’s our four-step guide:
1. Get personal
Do you understand your client’s reason for travelling? Have you recognised their individual needs?
Of course you want to find them the best fare – but “best” means different things to different people.
For example, when it comes to leisure travel, a family may be happy to pay a little extra to pre-book seats so they can sit together. They might have a little extra luggage, and want to book in-flight meals and entertainment for the kids.
On the other hand, business travellers are all about convenience. Is the airport close? Is the timing right?They may also require lounge access and priority boarding to ensure they emerge fresh at the other end.
2. How low can you go?
Although low fares are no longer the be-all and end-all, they are still important as the “entry point” for a sale. As a result, GDSs continue to invest heavily in finding the best prices.
So which one comes out on top?
According to the Best Fare study, Sabre returns the lowest fares 10% more often that competitor Amadeus and 7% more often than Travelport.
3. Go beyond
But as already mentioned, it’s no longer just about low prices – it’s about creating a sense of value and delivering fares that match the individual needs of your client. That can mean pre-booking seats, adding luggage or even meals.
GDSs have taken note. According to the Best Fare study, 75% of Sabre fares returned an available, bookable air extra or branded fare, while Amadeus came in with 65% and Travelport with 61%.
Expect those numbers to rise. Sabre has underlined its commitment to providing travellers with as wide a range of services as possible.
4. Keep things seamless
Fortunately, this can increasingly all be done via the GDS, enhancing the sales process and the customer experience at the same time by eliminating unnecessary faffing.
“Historically if you booked via a travel agent/GDS you would often have to go direct to the airline and book these air extras,” Dunigan said.
“But Sabre has been working hard to ensure that we are extending an airlines portfolio within the GDS to allow more seamless booking experiences for travellers and travel agents.”
Take Sabre Red Workspace as an example. The intuitive platform addresses the needs of the whole travel industry and aims to help agents create the best fare for each client with its powerful merchandising and upsell capabilities.
Check out this video for more information about Sabre Yes Fares:
Have you noticed this shift among your clients?
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