New passenger expectations and overcoming the old pain points

Passenger expectations have created a competitive aviation landscape where experiences have become key to winning customers. The lure of low fares and brands has been broken as travellers demand more – from the best in-flight experience to the comforts of a private suite.

In the past, a low fare or brand familiarity could almost guarantee loyalty. That is no longer the case and customers are increasingly willing to pay more for the services that are most meaningful for them.

Businesses that are slow to adjust to those expectations face the prospect of customers leaving. That’s why a great customer experience ranks highly as a brand differentiator, and paying a premium isn’t seen as a deal breaker.

COVID-19 accelerated the industry trends towards digitalisation, self service and customer expectations of being ‘always online’. It also revealed that the pain points around the air travel experience are yet to be relieved.

If anything the pandemic has resulted in more frustration for passengers rather than less, as they have had to deal with onerous COVID-19 health requirements, additional layers of checks, confusing mazes of new regulations and changes to physical travel processes.

Meanwhile, the biggest pain points post-pandemic – flight delays, cancellations, lost baggage, security and immigration queues – continue to haunt the industry.

How airlines and airports navigate not only the new layers of expectations and requirements the pandemic has imposed on them, but continue to work to relieve pain points around the passenger journey will be key to their success.

  • How can airlines and airports ‘build back better’ to deliver a better travel experience and meet traveller expectations?

  • How are airlines and airports adapting their offer to meet changing traveller habits and needs?

  • What innovations are the top priority and how has the pandemic helped the digital transition?

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