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Raise your hand if you feel that visiting an airline website today can be described as a playful experience…

Chances are that reading this statement will have you raise your eyebrows, but not your hand. Airline websites today can be useful and efficient, but fun is perhaps not the most adequate way to describe them.

In a recent article in BizCommunity , I explained that airlines have never had such access to the brains and feelings of their customers as they do today. I cited Amadeus’ study, Embracing Airline Digital Transformation when I said that by leveraging this data, airlines will be able to start experimenting with creative and fun new tools, which will allow customers to playfully interact with them.

Until now, the airline industry has been lagging behind when it comes to understanding retail consumer techniques. Traditional airlines have historically always had a monopoly over regions and routes, and therefore they were under very little pressure to win over travellers or achieve brand loyalty. The story is slightly different with the low-cost carrier business model.

Today, however, airlines all face saturated markets, where they have to fight to win and retain customers. They’ve had to up their game when it comes to marketing strategies and need to always be ready to respond with relevant offers that will deliver something of value to the customer, then and there.

In the coming years, we can expect airlines to start using the digital realm more and more to build emotional connections with travellers and to stand out among the digital noise. The gap between businesses that are embracing the changes this era will bring and those that are failing to innovate will soon become apparent.

This means airlines will need to speed up, put data in the driving seat and find new ways to become even more connected to customers.

Read the full story here.