2014 Airline Ancillary Revenue Activity Surpasses $38 Billion, Up Nearly 21 Percent

CarTrawler Yearbook of Ancillary Revenue by IdeaWorksCompany  compiles disclosures from 63 airlines worldwide

The 2015 CarTrawler Yearbook of Ancillary Revenue by IdeaWorksCompany, now available free online, provides the most detailed global assessment of a bottom-line-booster that can represent 38.7% of a carrier’s revenue, as it does for Spirit Airlines in the US, or $56.28 per passenger for Jet2.com in the UK, and $5.86 billion for global behemoth United Airlines.  

This excellent full 98-page report examines 63 airlines that disclosed revenue in financial filings during 2014 from sources such as frequent flier miles sold to partners, fees for checked bags, and commissions from car rentals.

Click the links below to read the 6-page press release or to view the entire 98-page yearbook.  

6-page press release:  www.ideaworkscompany.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Press-Release-100-Ancillary-Revenue-Yearbook.pdf

2015 CarTrawler Yearbook of Ancillary Revenue by IdeaWorksCompany:  www.ideaworkscompany.com/category/current-reports



Amadeus and Southwest Airlines advance partnership with new corporate travel agreement – MarketWatch

amadeus new logo on blueAmadeus and Southwest Airlines advance partnership with new corporate travel agreement

Amadeus, a leading technology partner for the global travel industry and Southwest Airlines announced today a new milestone in their partnership. Under a new multi-year agreement, Amadeus’ corporate travel booking tool users around the world will gain access to Southwest’s fares and inventory.

“Providing seamless functionality and booking ease to our corporate customers worldwide is a focus we share with Amadeus,” said Kevin Krone, Vice President Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer, Southwest Airlines. “This new global agreement marks another milestone in our continued partnership, offering a new dimension in distribution to deliver world-class access to our entire available inventory of seats to more than 90 destinations.”

With the direct implementation of Southwest’s content, users of Amadeus’ e-Travel Management and i:FAO’s cytric corporate booking tools will gain benefits such as:

  • Greater functionalities including live availability and last seat inventory delivered via an integrated display
  • Functionality supporting all pricing rules, fare rules and return of ticket number
  • Fare searches returning the lowest fares available
  • Booking and ticketing capabilities for the carrier’s loyalty program/Rapid Rewards members
  • Additional functionality related to deferred ticketing, retrieving and canceling reservations, and exchange funds toward new itineraries

via Amadeus and Southwest Airlines advance partnership with new corporate travel agreement – MarketWatch.

Ctrip acquires majority stake in Travelfusion

ctrip logoThe China-based travel service provider, Ctrip.com International has announced that it has completed an investment transaction in Travelfusion by purchasing a majority stake in the company.

Travelfusion is a UK-based leading online low cost carrier (LCC) travel content aggregator and innovator of direct connect global distribution solutions. Aggregating 200+ LCCs, full service carriers (FSCs), rail operators and 30+ leading hotel consolidators.

Ctrip chairman and chief executive officer James Liang noted: “Travelfusion has built a great GDS system for LCCs globally. The strategic relationship we built with Travelfusion will further extend our leadership in China’s international travel market, and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our IT system by leveraging Travelfusion’s advanced technology. We are excited to work with Travelfusion’s team to create greater value for our customers.”

travelfusion logoTravelfusion chief executive officer Moshe Rafiah added: “China is expected to be the largest travel market in the world, and Ctrip is the clear leader in the online and mobile travel industry in China. After 15 years of building Travelfusion to be an industry leader, we are thrilled to take further steps to realize and fulfil our potential in such a great market with such a powerful industry leader.”

via ArabianTravelNews.com | Operators | Ctrip acquires majority stake in Travelfusion.

How Travel Brands Can Excel At Social Customer Care In 2015 12/29/2014

How Travel Brands Can Excel At Social Customer Care In 2015 by Jan Rezab, Media Post December 29

social-media21Social media has transformed the way customers speak with brands. Among its many benefits, social media has created a place for customers and clients to reach brands easily and quickly at any time of the day. With this great power in communication comes great responsibility for travel companies. That mass of people — which can turn into millions during a crisis — expects a response to each individual issue and question. But social isn’t, and shouldn’t be viewed as, a burden. It should be looked at as an almost-limitless end of possibilities.

Good companies continually show their customers they value them, and social media is a great place to do this. As customer care increasingly moves to public venues, it is blurring the lines between marketing, communications, and customer service. Digital marketers can use social to greatly improve the customer experience and build loyalty with fans like never before. Here are a few simple ways travel marketers need to be thinking about social customer care in 2015…

Actively Encourage Feedback

Social media gives you the ability to listen into a wide array of people — from your die-hard fans to your rarely vocal customers. In a way, it’s sort of like a giant focus group that you can access anytime.

Make it easy for your customers to talk to you. Most social customer care happens on Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, travel brands are making many mistakes when it comes to optimizing their profiles on these platforms to encourage conversation.

On Facebook, it’s imperative that travel brands open their walls in order for people to post on their timelines. This year, our data suggested that 30% of airlines globally still have closed walls on Facebook. A closed wall automatically makes it difficult for customers to voice their feedback and means a lot of missed opportunities for your brand.

On Twitter, we encourage travel brands to provide customer support from their main Twitter profile, instead of making a separate customer support profile. This allows consumers to easily direct their questions to the right place. Still, this can be difficult for many companies to do for a number of reasons, so if a company must create two handles, it’s important to list out the customer care profile on the main profile page. Turkish Airlines is a good example of a brand that does this by linking to their support handle, @TK_HelpDesk, on their main handle, @TurkishAirlines.

Be Prompt

For travelers, time is of the essence. Think of customers traveling by plane; a good chunk of their questions are going to be about their flight that’s coming up shortly. That means they’ll need quick help and a quick response from their airline should they post or tweet a question.

Unfortunately, not all companies are punctual in providing service on social. In fact, we found that the average brand takes 33 hours to respond to customer inquiries, if they respond at all. That’s a huge amount of time for customers who don’t have the luxury of waiting around for an answer.

Travel brands need to make sure they’re equipped to provide quick service. One easy way to prepare for this is to do an analysis of the type of questions your company is receiving on social media. Many times, companies will find that the bulk of questions are about the same recurring topics. Companies can then set up procedures on how to deal with these main topics, which makes responding to them easier.

For example, when we took a look at a sample of questions directed at U.S. airline brands, we found that one of the most-used keywords was “delayed.” This tells us that many inquiries were about flight delays, which means an airline company would probably benefit from having a quick procedure to deal with questions about delays.

Show Up and Respond

It’s important that your customers know you’re dependable. This means taking the first step to show up and respond. Leaving questions unacknowledged is a big problem for both customers and brands.

Some brands hold themselves accountable to a certain standard in customer care. For example, Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) provides an estimated wait time for responses on their Twitter profile. This gives customers a sense of when they can expect a response, and it holds KLM to their promise to provide that response as soon as they can.

In Q3 2014, we found that 10% of brands received 65% of all questions asked of brands on Facebook and Twitter. Customers start asking brands more questions and interacting with them more when they know that those brands will respond. The more companies respond, they more interaction and dialogue they’ll spark with their fans.

As the holiday rush slows down, the first weeks of 2015 provide a great opportunity for travel brands to look at what worked and what didn’t over the hectic holiday season and start the new year off on the right foot. Coming into the new year, it’s time for travel marketers to really get serious about providing optimal customer care on social media. The more activity marketers encourage with their customers, the more dependable the brand becomes for them. And in the competitive landscape of the travel industry, those that show their customers they care and build brand loyalty will win out.

via How Travel Brands Can Excel At Social Customer Care In 2015 12/29/2014.

Boston Consulting Group – Facebook Report – Travel Companies Have Been Slow to Seize the Mobile Opportunity

Facebook logoTravel Companies Have Been Slow to Seize the Mobile Opportunity

Early Movers Can Cement Significant Advantage by Personalizing the Travel Journey

According to a New Report by BCG and Facebook BOSTON, June 19, 2014—

Although it was one of the first industries to be disrupted by digital commerce, travel and tourism has been slow to embrace the opportunities offered by mobile technology, according to Travel Goes Mobile, a new report by The Boston Consulting Group and Facebook. This reticence has left the playing field wide open for early movers. Those that miss the shift will find catching up increasingly difficult once consumers patterns of behavior and relationships with mobile apps and the companies behind them solidify.

BCG Logo“Early movers in travel, especially those companies that design successful mobile apps, have the opportunity to establish lasting advantage,” said Jason Guggenheim a BCG partner and coauthor of the report. “For many travel suppliers, this means an opportunity to strengthen or reestablish customer relationships that have been eroded by online intermediaries. For intermediaries, it means rethinking their offerings to protect the positions they have established on the PC. Winners will need to understand their customers’ mobile-usage trends, tailor their marketing, and even adapt their operating models accordingly.”

Estimates of the number of apps installed on the average smartphone vary, depending on who is doing the counting, but they range from about 25 to about 40. So far, only a few travel-company apps are used regularly by a significant share of consumers. Most travel companies have converted fewer than 20 percent of their PC customers to mobile-app usage, and no travel app has established itself as the go-to resource on more than 2 percent of smartphones.

The report argues that the biggest opportunity for travel companies is to cement relationships with customers—especially a company’s best, high-value customers—by offering them truly personalized service and experience. Mobile apps generate information related to usage, searching, time of use, location of use, spending, preferences, friends and followers, and countless other kinds of data. The more a travel company engages customers through mobile devices, the more information it can synthesize to personalize messages and the in-app customer experience. This information can also be used to segment the company’s best customers on the basis of frequency of use and expenditure, among other criteria, including their current location, time of day, and status.

“The tools and capabilities available to travel companies continue to expand as digital and mobile technologies improve,” Lee McCabe, global head of travel strategy at Facebook and a report coauthor, said. “This paper reveals the extraordinary role mobile technology can and will continue to play in travel and the tremendous value it can add to travel companies and travelers’ experiences. Sophisticated apps, combined with rich data and targeting capabilities, allow for personalized marketing at scale. The ability to perfectly time and tailor messages on the basis of rich data is very powerful from a business standpoint—for both brand- and direct-response-related objectives.”

The single log-in functionality offered by Facebook, for example, enables seamless movement among apps, eliminating the need to log in for each visit. Innovations such as app install ads, conversion ads, and deep links further simplify moving among multiple apps, which is great for the user and generates tremendous data for marketers.

The report points out that mobile “gatekeepers” have the power and sophistication to vastly augment travel companies’ own data-collection and analysis efforts with the vast amount of consumer information they manage. The biggest gatekeepers today are the device manufacturers and the companies behind the main mobile-operating systems and app stores, app-to-app marketers, and social networks and messaging app operators. The top three—Facebook, Google, and Apple—currently account for half of total app usage.

The report argues that, in terms of apps, travel companies want their customers to do three things: discover and download their apps, engage with them at multiple stages of the travel journey, and find the experience so simple, satisfying, and useful that they want to come back and use the apps again—to the exclusion of other available travel apps.

This means that travel companies need to design apps with functionality that customers—especially high-value customers—prize and that other travel companies cannot match, market the app effectively for both ease of installation and engagement, experiment and bring out new functionality quickly to keep the app fresh and make it more useful, and make the experience more personal over time.

To download a copy of the report, please go to www.bcgperspectives.com.

via BCG – Press Release – Travel Companies Have Been Slow to Seize the Mobile Opportunity.

Interview: Emirates CEO on Why the Dubai-Based Carrier Is Winning – Daily Telegraph

English: This is a photo showing airplanes fro...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ever wondered what happens to a 258-seater jet when it starts to look a bit dated?“  Cut up in the desert,” Sir Tim Clark, the long-standing president of Emirates airline, says matter-of-factly. “Sad but that’s what you have to do. They are no use to us.” Emirates’ Airbus A340-500 aircraft may only be eight or so years old, but some of them will soon end up in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf, surrounded by coral and divers.“They have no value so we strip out all of the parts as best we can and then the government takes them, sanitises them and makes them environmentally friendly and creates reefs,” Clark says.It may seem brutal but there is no room for sentimentality in the fast-paced environment at Emirates, which is already the world’s biggest airline by international passenger traffic and is growing rapidly. It’s out with the old and in with the new, after Emirates in November placed the biggest order in the history of civil aviation for larger, far more fuel efficient planes.Emirates is already the biggest operator of A380 super-jumbos – it took delivery of its 44th in December – and it has a total firm order book of 385 aircraft, also including Boeing 777s and Airbus A350s.Although the real sums that change hands over aircraft deals always remain cloaked in secrecy, the list value of Emirates’ order book is $166bn £100bn.

via Interview: Emirates CEO on Why the Dubai-Based Carrier Is Winning – Skift./Daily telegrahp

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Vueling partners with Sony to offer first smartwatch boarding pass

English: Vueling Airlines logo Español: Logoti...

Vueling becomes the first airline to offer boarding passes via wearable technology.

Spanish carrier Vueling has embraced wearable technology and has partnered with Sony to offer the industry’s first smartwatch-based boarding pass on Sony’s Smartwatch 2.

Details of the surprise development are few and far between, but the “wearable boarding pass” will be provided via a new app from Vueling and Sony, which will be available for download from the Google Play Store from the end of March. Smartwatch 2 owners will be able to store their boarding pass on their smartwatch and present it at airport checkpoints.


Vueling joins Virgin Atlantic in making use of wearable technology to enhance the passenger experience.

Virgin Atlantic is currently trialling Google Glass and Sony Smartwatch solutions in the Upper Class Wing at Heathrow Airport. The airline, alongside its partner on the project, SITA Lab, provided a live demonstration of the technology at FTE Europe 2014 in London earlier this month.

via Vueling partners with Sony to offer first smartwatch boarding pass.

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Airlines ranked for their speed at replying to people on Twitter | Mail Online

Twitter Logo

When a delay of just a few minutes can destroy a traveller’s entire itinerary, Twitter has become the go to place for many air passengers to keep abreast of changes to their travel plans – or air their grievances.Now a new study has revealed the most efficient and responsive airlines on the microblogging service.According to US travel intelligence site Skift, European airlines trail their US counterparts when it comes to responding to customer needs on Twitter.

Top Tweeters

Top five US airlines

American Airlines    12 minutes
JetBlue Airways       15 minutes
IndiGo                      16 minutes
US Airways              38 minutes
Air Canada              42 minutes 

Top five European airlines

Ryanair                     66 minutes
Lufhansa                  72 minutes
KLM                          93 minutes
easyJet                   120 minutes
SAS                         191 minutes

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2585112/Twitter-users-airlines-speedier-others.html#ixzz2wblb6c82
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

via Airlines ranked for their speed at replying to people on Twitter | Mail Online.

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Why Online Video Matters for Airline Marketing – Skift

English: Westjet 737-700 landing at Montréal-P...

Skift launch a new report

The spread of online video has affected marketing for almost every business-to-consumer industry, but it is particularly important to a commoditized and opaque business such as airlines.“I think that you see more and more content coming from airlines because it’s a unique business with such a big cost structure,” says Corey Evans, who manages sponsorship and community investment for WestJet, the Canadian airline known for its extravagant videos. “Most customers’ attitude to look for the lowest fare, no matter what. When you are in a dead heat with competitors, content could be the differentiating factor. It builds brand awareness and lets people know about how we treat our guests and our corporate social responsibility efforts.”Especially as travelers increasingly use online travel agents or meta search engines where multiple airlines’ prices can be com- pared side-by-side, engaging content could differentiate one from the next.

via Why Online Video Matters for Airline Marketing – Skift.

English: Westjet 737-700 landing at Montréal-P…

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Ryanair Partners With Travelport

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800, named Nyköping, take...

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800, named Nyköping, takes off from London Luton Airport, England. (2007) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ryanair, Europe’s favourite low fares airline, today (11 Mar) announced a new partnership with Travelport, a leading distribution services and e-commerce provider for the global travel industry, allowing Travelport-connected agents worldwide access to Ryanair’s low fares and comprehensive route network.

The combination of Ryanair’s low fares, extensive route network at primary and secondary airports, and No 1 or No 2 market share in most of Europe’s major travel markets, will enable Ryanair and Travelport to deliver a significant business travel platform, and allow Europe’s largest businesses to save both time and money by flying Ryanair. This significant partnership follows recent technology developments from Travelport making it the ideal partner for Ryanair to target the travel industry channel.

Ryanair continues to improve both its customer experience and offering and this partnership with Travelport, and the launch of a dedicated Ryanair group travel service, are the latest in a programme of developments, with a new business product set to be unveiled in the summer, along with a fully revamped Ryanair website, a brand new app and mobile boarding passes.

In London, Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kenny Jacobs said:

“This partnership with Travelport is a significant development for Ryanair and for businesses across Europe and beyond as we continue to evolve our business offering. As Europe’s largest airline, we’ll carry over 81.5m customers this year on the largest route network, connecting 186 airports in 30 countries.

More than 22% of these customers already choose Ryanair for business travel and we expect that percentage to grow as this partnership allows corporate travel departments and businesses even greater access to Ryanair’s low fares and routes, ensuring they save millions of euro in travel expenses every year.”

Travelport’s Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer, Kurt Ekert said:

“We’re excited that Europe’s largest low fares airline has selected Travelport as its partner and is fully embracing what we can uniquely offer through our industry-leading airline distribution technology. We look forward to working together to help Ryanair achieve its business ambitions and extend its extensive choice of low fares to travel agency customers worldwide.”

via Ryanair Partners With Travelport.

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