Participants of this year’s World Low Cost Conference had the unique chance to get in direct contact with experts on senior level and specialists in various fields of the industry. The choice of 18 topics was impressive and covered a broad spectrum in strategy and technology. Several roundtables with 8 persons maximum were organized; everybody could change the table for a second round to get as much information as possible. A random choice:
Are we helping to sustain the industry recovery or diverging from truly addressing customers` needs?
Pete McGlade (Southwest Airlines) hosted a table evaluating the methods of modern Revenue Management when break-even load factors are rising to high levels and discussed theories what will happen when the Low Cost Carrier goes long-haul on a large scale.
In a world of savvy consumers, who expect a fair value for the money, it is more difficult for airlines to differentiate their product, as competition takes place in the territory of countless OTAs and meta-searchers. A marginal advantage of a few bucks can bring enormous advantages by better listings but leads to different fares for the same airline on different websites. Under POS-control people get different prices, depending on the origin of their journey and the place where they are booking. Consumer has lost trust and moves to open booking platforms as neither the revenue- nor the product-lines are always seamless and in accordance with airlines ‘own websites.
This lack of consistency can bring more disadvantages than additional revenue. In the brainstorming session an aligning principle behind the idea was claimed as a clear differentiation in the industry should be possible.
About the author: Harry Schnuderl from Vienna University