For today’s travelers, digital is in the DNA
Seated next to you on the plane today is a new generation of traveler, the 21st century flier, who may have different goals and desires than passengers from decades gone by. Today’s traveler operates at a faster pace, manages a slew of online tools to conduct their travel, and relies upon instantaneous feedback to their needs to enable personalized choices.
Millennials – that generation born between about 1980 and 2000 – are hitting the road, and not with oldfashioned rectangular briefcases, but snazzy messenger bags and new-fangled backpacks with separate compartments for laptops and iPads. And travel companies are taking notice, with new offerings to cash in on the value this traveler presents to plump up their bottom line.
A recent Future of Travel study conducted by Expedia surveyed nearly 9,000 travelers across two dozen countries to discover their travel patterns and find out what they liked and disliked about their travel experience. Millennials, the focus of the Expedia survey, hold the key to the future of the travel industry as they increasingly gain the ability to direct company travel spend, thus affecting the shape of the travel industry moving forward into the future.
Apps Redirect Control
Putting the traveler in control has been the modus operandi of almost every travelrelated business in the past few years. Technology can lessen the workload of airlines and hotels, and put the onus on the consumer to handle more of their experience. And millennials want and appreciate that.
Hotels are creating options for travelers to check in on mobile apps before they reach the front desk, simply allowing them to collect their key cards from a kiosk. Airlines are providing increased transparency into upgrade and standby lists via their apps. This gives fliers the chance to adjust their travel plans on their own in the event of a delay. Car rental companies allow renters to make bookings on their phones and later peruse the lot of available options and simply select the vehicle that best suits their style.
What does this say about today’s consumer? Well, perhaps that we are impatient and particular. Or perhaps that we are simply accustomed to satisfying our preferences immediately and will do business with the travel provider that makes it easiest to do so.Yes, today’s traveler wants to have control of their journey from start to finish. After all, waiting in line is so…last century.
One innate human desire, no matter who we are, is to be recognized and appreciated. Everyone values a smile, use of their name, and even that rare, albeit welcomed thank you. No matter what airline cabin you fly, what hotel chain you use, or what type of car service, if any, you use, today’s traveler simply wants to feel appreciated.
More and more companies are taking advantage of customer management databases that store information on
Today’s traveler wants to have control of their journey from start to finish. After all, waiting in line is so … last century
users’wants and history to provide a more tailored service. They are being incorporated into the loyalty programs of travel companies to provide laser-like targeting of offers customized to what customers actually prefer.
This means that airlines already know the types of fares you buy, your travel patterns, and maybe even the last time you