Fifty-nine percent of North American travelers say the main
way online travel agencies and travel apps can improve the booking experience is
through better price predictability, according to new research by travel
data provider OAG.
Fifty-three percent say more real-time travel updates, including
advance notice of delays and cancellations and probability for making
connections, would make the biggest difference. Fifty percent call for more
nontraditional connecting flight options at better prices.
Just 18% of survey takers say enhancing personalized travel
and activity recommendations would improve the traveler experience.
The survey of 1,442 travelers in Canada, the
United States and Mexico was conducted in April and May 2022 via OAG’s flight
tracking app, FlightView. OAG is based in the United Kingdom.
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OAG’s findings reveal that sustainability is not a priority for many North American travelers. Sixty-two percent of respondents say sustainability
does not factor into their booking decision, and 48% say they would not pay
extra for a more sustainable flight.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents are willing to share biometric
data – through facial recognition, fingerprint and retina scanning – to get
through security lines faster. Fifty-six percent are willing to use biometrics
to streamline customs and immigration. Only 28% report being moderately to
extremely concerned about sharing their data for airport processing.
However, biometric screening doesn’t exist everywhere and uptake
is slow, says OAG chief analyst John Grant.
“For many medium/small-size airports the business case
doesn’t make sense,” Grant says, “and for the larger airports investment in
anything has stopped for the last two years because of COVID.
“Everyone in the travel process would like to see [biometric screening] being
used more and more, but it will take time.”
OAG’s report shows that 63% of North American travelers are
booking international flights, and nearly 60% are flying to a brand-new
destination this year. Respondents say $50 and $100 ticket price increases
aren’t likely to discourage them from booking. Once at the airport, flight
delays, cancellations and customer service issues rank among the biggest areas
of impact for consumers.