Airlines must focus on creating policies and products to allow consumers to reclaim what has been lost – control, recommends IdeaWorksCompany.
6th July, 2021
The lack of control continues to shake us, not just when we think of cross-border travel but also in other spheres of our lives in general.
Airlines must focus on “creating policies and products to allow consumers to reclaim what has been lost”, as IdeaWorksCompany also emphasised in one of its recent reports. This is going to be crucial as passengers are expected to demand new, innovative features in order to maximise their travel experience and minimise hassle.
Different countries have different requirements for cross-border travel and there is no consistency in this context since they are constantly changing. “It is an absolute threat to recovery (of the travel industry),” said Jay Sorensen, President, IdeaWorksCompany during Ai’s recently conducted MegaEvent.
He spoke about the actual airport experience at this juncture, and said it truly symbolises “total loss of control”. And then in addition to this, fear is also there considering restrictions and even cases like a Ryanair flight being diverted, he said. “Safety of an aircraft has to be sacrosanct,” he said. “It all contributes to global mistrust.”
Sorensen said there is no magic solution and one can expect to go through a period of travel disruption. So think of what all has been thrust upon the traveller – testing, vaccination etc. and see how all of it can be sorted. So, for example, look for authentication of a health passport, data-related requirements etc. to smoothen the experience to whatever extent travel companies can. But automation is this regard can take time. At the same as data needs to handled, one has to be cautious from potential fraud perspective as well.
He also added that the question around who is going to be bear the financial loss considering the uncertainty even as this juncture needs to be handled. So if an international trip has to be cancelled or changed, then how go about it? Even though a country like the U. S. has opened up, carriers should pay attention to the same.
According to IdeaWorksCompany, some of the areas that airlines can focus on are:
- Offer travel advice and create consistency: For instance, the Delta Discovery Map (it has an attribute displayed by the map is pandemic accessibility). A shopper can exclude destinations with requirements including quarantine, Covid19 test or vaccination etc. if they wish to. The map currently has a US origin bias.
- Boost booking confidence: One example is easyJet holidays Protection Promise. Some aspects that stand out are Covid commitment, refund guarantee and freedom to change.
- Redefine revenue in the pandemic era (Qantas monetizes the loyalty of dog owners).
By Ritesh Gupta
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