cheapest fare
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Are you forever bending over backward to offer your clients the cheapest fares? What if we tell you that cheapest isn’t always best.

Delta recently redesigned its online shopping experience to fit customers’ preferences and price points and replicate the feel of browsing popular online retailer sites.

“Think about it: when you’re searching for a sweater, you don’t want to only see the cheapest version. You want to see options — size, color, cut, style, etc. Price is certainly a factor many people weigh, but it’s not the only factor by a long shot,” the airline said, adding that their redesigned ticket purchase process now includes columns rich with information about each of the seat products and fares.

“There are endless influences that lead travellers to make a purchase with a brand – or not. Their needs and personal preferences. Where they are at that moment in time. The device they are using. Even the weather that day. The list goes on, but all of these influences affect how consumers perceive the value of an offer at any given moment,” says Elena Avila, Head of Airlines Strategy, Amadeus IT Group in the Amadeus report Embracing Airline Digital Transformation A spotlight on what travellers value.

Technology providers and airlines have been working together to enhance their booking experience, and to follow a customer through their journey, offering relevant touchpoints and service enhancements along the way.

The saying goes that everybody has a price. But in order to have a price, everybody has to have a value. For airline customers, this value is the sweet spot where they feel that the balance between product, service and convenience is achieved.

Each time a customer searches for a flight, they bring their individual values to the search:

PRODUCT: “It’s a long flight – I want as much legroom as possible.”

SERVICE: “I want to feel like my holiday has started as soon as I step on the plane.”

CONVENIENCE: “I need a direct flight; I don’t have time for a stopover.”

On any given journey, a customer may place a different value on each component, depending on the context of their flight.

By applying the paradigm to different types of travel personas, travel agents can create a clear picture of how to upsell something of value to each of their clients. The more a traveller values one or more of these components, the greater the opportunity for airlines and travel agents to market intuitively so the customer purchases something of value to them.

In the 21st century, technology is taking over menial tasks from travel agents so that they can focus on providing a much better personalised level of service for their clients.

The progression of technology, if harnessed correctly, could dramatically boost the potential for agents to present consumers with personalised, niche travel experiences that they didn’t know they were looking for, and that are relevant and desirable.

Want to learn more about this subject? Check out our report Embracing Airline Digital Transformation A spotlight on what travellers value for more.