The days of a one-size-fit-all experience on airlines are gone, but the technology that facilitates a wider retail offering is playing catch-up.
Jeff Lobl, managing director of global distribution for Delta Air Lines, sums up the issue by saying that over a short period of time, 1,000 shoppers could be buying a product that isn’t right for them and a further 300 could abandon the indirect channel altogether.
He appeared alongside American Airlines and United at a panel put together by ATPCO and its acquisition earlier this year, Routehappy, to discuss distribution and retailing concerns.
The carriers maintain the importance of the indirect channel but say business travelers are three to four times less likely to to purchase a premium product via an online booking tool, while on online travel agencies, customers are three to four times more likely to buy an economy product.
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Neil Geurin, director of distribution strategy at American Airlines, goes so far as to call it “the dirty little secret of NDC,” because, despite all the work being done around offer creation and management in the back end, it amounts to little if airlines can’t present customers with the right products with descriptions, attributes and images.
The dream, according to the carriers is, a “next-generation storefront” that displays fares and enables comparison.
Also participating in the session is Tye Radcliffe, director of distribution for United.
The trio's presentation is shown below, made available exclusively for PhocusWire, including a Q&A moderated by Routehappy CEO Robert Albert.
Delta, American Airlines and United rare onstage joint appearance to discuss airline retailing
* A webinar to go over this in further detail is coming up, December, 5 - click here for more details.