Airline Industry Analysis

The PhoCusWright Consumer Travel Trends Survey


Based on survey findings, PhoCusWright has uncovered the following strategic implications for the online travel industry:


Airline Industry Analysis: The Internet has empowered online travelers to have broader control over vacation planning and use technology to assist them throughout the purchase process. This has given rise to meta-search tools, online communities and other Web site features that simulate the experience and knowledge of industry veterans at the point of sale. New and existing Web-enabled customer support services will be imperative in order to broaden and redefine the value of the Internet beyond low pricing and word-of-mouth referrals.


Airline Industry Analysis


While U.S. adults are spending more time online (often at the expense of other media and purchase channels), use of the Internet channel is not exclusive. The same is true in travel and airline industry analysis. Suppliers’ increasing penetration of the online lei­sure market is the direct result of better inventory management across both of their channels of distribution. This high­lights the importance of offering and using both online and offline channels for customer service and support, partic­ularly as online buyers begin to segment their channels of purchase by the type of travel component purchased.


Now thoroughly integrated in our lives as: 1) a source for information; 2) a means of communication; 3) a place to transact, and 4) a venue for entertain­ment, the Internet functions as a portal for living. To truly capitalize on the revenue opportunity and value of the Internet for travel, market participants will need to view it in terms of these four functions for travel in the future.


As the demographic profile of Internet users more closely parallels that of the U.S. population, it is imperative to view the Internet as another channel of travel distribution, rather than as a separate and distinct market. This means adapting and targeting content, promo­tions and Web sites to meet the needs of niche segments of the population such as the graying baby boomers who are approaching their highest level of net worth, and members of key ethnic groups (e.g., Hispanics, Asian-Americans) who are gaining affluence.


The current trend toward more short vacation breaks and hybrid business/lei­sure trips means that travelers will be taking more and different types of vaca­tions over the course of a year, and this provides increased opportunities to drive allegiances. Loyalty will be increasingly derived from new and differentiated vacation experiences, airline industry analysis, and  the ability to target the emotional and personal well-being of travelers, and services that help save/give back time.