Hidden surcharges from airlines and a lack of clear pricing are driving consumers to abandon online shopping baskets according to research.
The WorldPay study shows 23% of consumers have pulled out of the final purchase despite having selected the flight with 36% of these blaming surcharges.
Despite the finding, only 6% of airlines think consumers abandon a purchase because of charges with most carriers believing it's more likely because of declined payment or changed plans.
The research shows general frustration with surcharges with 28% saying they have experienced them at some time or other and 58% saying they're not made clear enough.
Clear pricing is most important for 88% of consumers, second only to finding the right flight, 89%, in the Perfect Passenger Payment report study which shows 36% abandoned the purchase because they found a better price elsewhere.
The perception gap between airline and customer is also highlighted in after-sales support with only 18% of airlines saying its important compared to about 75% of customers.
Survey findings also reveal customers are happy to trade a speedy purchase process for a more secure but slower one and 46% understand that security checks may be responsible for holding up the online booking process.
Further findings include:
- Only 10% of airlines offer mobile payment but 39% of online flight purchasers are comfortable buying goods via mobile
- 58% want to use mobile or tablets to pay in the future and 50% would do so now if they could
- 38% would store personal details with airlines if it meant easier payment
- 43% of airlines are not seeking customer feedback on the purchasing process although 30% of improvements come from customer input
- 29% fail to track shopping basket abandonment at the payment stage and airlines believe 80% of customers complete the transaction eventhough more than a quarter leave without paying
The research was carried out on 4,500 passengers in the UK, US, France, Spain, Japan, China, Germany, Brazil and Finland. Executives from 51 airlines also took part.