Roundtables at the Aviation Festival covered a wide range of topics. Jon French from Hotelbeds Group led table 2 “To package or not to package? What´s best for you and your customers when it comes to selling and servicing Flight and non-flight ancillaries (Hotels, Car Hire, Transfers etc)?”
The key take aways are listed below.
What are the Benefits of packaging (flight plus non-flight products):
- Product differentiation and a means to increase direct distribution
- Additional Loyalty – especially if customers can earn and burn.
- It´s more than just about the seat only price.
- A means to unlock value for the customer (combine products and save – through discounts on non-air products and reduced fares from distressed inventory – all priced opaquely).
- Additional revenue (Sir Tim Clark´s mention of margin available from Expedia and booking.com that he wants to have for himself!).
Risks of packaging:
- EU Package Travel Directive – 1July 2018 – will affect any airline selling to EU based customers – need to understand the impact to all parts of the eco-system – but at a minimum this should serve to ensure that ancillary third parties comply with minimum standards (health and safety etc)
- Lack of expertise in non-air products.
- Required licences to operate as a tour operator.
What do you need as an airline to be successful:
- Choose the right partner(s) – make sure that they are not a black box.
- Data sharing across partners to improve customer experience.
- Ensure it is part of the airline strategy
- Decide wheter to in-source to a third party tour operator, or invest in setting up a tour operator in-house.
- Have the right people – running a tour operator is very different to running an airline – understand needs of servicing, and operating all products.
Find out more about the Aviation Festival at www.terrapinn.com/aviation
Content with Hotelbeds Group at www.hotelbeds.com