Airline Travel Trends
2020 marks the start of a new decade and with that, the airline travel industry is expanding to meet the priorities and expectations of travelers and consumers. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that global airline passenger numbers could double to 8.2 billion by 2037. With the growth of technology and advanced systems, airline companies are adapting to keep up with new trends. Many of these trends are based on the rise in environmental awareness and mobile app usage.
- Companies are looking into developing super apps to streamline travel apps. Consumers would be able to use one app for all services including airline and hotel booking.
- According to travel data provider OAG, surveys have shown that 78% of consumers want an airline app that shows flight delay and cancellation data, 77% want to see estimated security wait times, and 75% want to see updates on expected flight boarding times. 59% of travelers want to use a super app that allows electronic payments via PayPal. 70% of respondents, of which 91% were millennials, said they would consider the super app for ate-side food delivery and pickup.
- While the United States is catching up to this trend, super apps like WeChat, Grab, and LINE are seeing implemented success in Asia. LINE Travel JP was launched in Japan in 2018 and utilizes a loyalty point program for booking travel. The app also integrates a mobile wallet for other travel services.
- Biometric technology encompasses facial recognition which has changed the travel experience in terms of terminal security checkpoints. With Orlando International Airport becoming the first US airport to commit to biometric technology in 2018, this trend has only gained more traction.
- Biometric technology is being implemented across different airlines and terminals. British Airways rolled out biometric technology in Heathrow, Orlando, Los Angeles, and John F. Kennedy international airports, among others. Towards the end of 2019, Iberia launched a new facial recognition app at Madrid Airport for fast-track security checks.
- While there may be concerns about the integration, security, and privacy of the technology, biometrics is expected to grow further in the airline industry. Emirates and Delta are expected to expand their use of biometrics and technology in the near future.
- Approximately 35% of US households own at least one smart speaker. By 2022, smart speakers are expected to develop into a $27 billion market.
- According to OAG, in a survey of more than 2,000 travelers, 25% expressed interest in booking travel through Siri and Okay Google. 18% said they would be comfortable booking travel through Google Home and Amazon Echo.
- Airlines are already using voice technology apps for check-in and flight information. EasyJet is set to launch voice-activated booking technology to book airline travel.
Second City Travel
- Second cities are described as travel destinations that are lesser known and off the beaten path. More travelers are looking to reduce over-tourism and have a more authentic experience.
- Data from Booking.com says that 54% of global travelers want to play a part in reducing over-tourism and 51% would swap their original destination for a lesser known but similar alternative. Airlines may cater to these travelers by recommending alternative destinations through their website or app.
- Consumers and travelers are growing more concerned about the environmental impacts of travel. According to OAG, sustainability issues will affect travel choices and force airlines to be more transparent during the booking process.
- EasyJet is expected to be the world’s first major airline to operate net-zero carbon flights across its entire network. This move surpasses pledges from other airlines such as British Airways who will start offsetting domestic flights this year and promises to be carbon neutral by 2050.
- JetBlue announced its goals to become carbon neutral on all domestic flights by July 2020. They also announced plans to start flying with sustainable aviation fuel in mid-2020.