Cathay Pacific Airways announced (16-Nov-2009) plans to offer passengers the option to secure seats with extra legroom in its Economy Class cabins by paying an additional charge, effective 01-Dec-2009. The carrier will charge an extra USD100/sector on long-haul services or USD25 to Mainland China and regional destinations. The seats can also be paid for through frequent flyer mile redemption. [more]
Cathay Pacific offers extra legroom for Economy Class product; ancillaries arrive
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Global airlines increasingly pursue the notion of de-commoditising their products in order to create a strategic level of differentiation. But the reality is that the concept of creating new airline customer value propositions remains in its infancy; airlines and other travel companies are still navigating the intricacies of determining how to deliver more differentiated passenger experiences.
Understanding passenger preferences is a huge piece of the puzzle to be solved as travel providers work toward greater product distinction and personalisation. At the same time, passenger preference for the lowest price will always dictate a high level of commoditisation within the travel industry.
The key for travel providers is finding the right balance, and most admit that they are far away from mastering the move from product commoditisation to personalisation. But some signs are emerging that the industry is achieving small moves in that direction.