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The road to customisation – today’s opportunities

Dan Greaves

Senior Manager, Marketing Travel Payments, Amadeus IT Group

It is interesting to see how consumer choice has grown over these years, and how this together with a rise of individualism is altogether changing consumer culture. Personalised products and services are increasingly challenging the ‘one fits all’ mentality – and we can’t expect less from the travel industry.


It is interesting to see how consumer choice has grown over these years, and how this together with a rise of individualism is altogether changing consumer culture. Personalised products and services are increasingly challenging the ‘one fits all’ mentality – and we can’t expect less from the travel industry.

I make a lot of short trips – either business trips or weekends away – so I usually travel with hand-luggage only. At the same time, having spent most of my twenties missing flights, I now like to get to the airport already checked in and very early. Consequently, I’m more likely to be swayed by a deal on lounge access than a deal on checked-bags.

This is the logic of customisation – we are each different and have different “hot buttons” when it comes to choosing an airline or accepting an up-sell. This has always been true, of course. Traditionally, airlines used fare classes to customise their offer according to price and service. However, this is a static solution which doesn’t respond to the specific service “hot-buttons” of individual travellers. Now the unbundling of the traditional elements of the fare and more sophisticated technology is enabling a finer degree of customisation.

hostess serving some wine

Right now, it is possible for airlines to customise the level of availability they present within the travel agency channel. Availability can be customised according to a range of rules such as ‘point of sale’ (that is, which travel agency is searching) and also the frequent flyer number, which provides a range of information on the individual passenger. This enables airlines to offer the last available seat on a flight only to their most loyal customers.

Furthermore, Amadeus facilitates the provision of ancillary services - such as excess baggage, in-flight meals, lounge access. The Amadeus Ancillary Services solution enables airlines to price ancillary services according to frequent flyer number – so the most loyal customers can check in bags for free.

Yet while significant progress has been made towards personalised offers, challenges remain which require attention. I will look at these issues in a follow-up post next week, don’t miss it.


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Traveler Experience