Airlines Are Offering Passengers Plenty of Options

At Singapore Airlines, you can book a chef. At United, you can use an app to overcome jet lag. In Norwegian, you can choose how much you want to pay.

Although these airlines and the services they offer are completely different, what they have in common is the power of choice.

Whether it’s attracting luxury travellers or budget-minded travelers, airlines are more than ever using customized concepts to attract and differentiate travelers-even economically. Although experts say these choices may help strengthen brand loyalty, they may not necessarily be the determining factor when choosing whether to book a flight.

Advances in technology have made it easier than ever to provide customer choice. Scott Keyes, co-owner of the Scott special fare, told Travel + Leisure that this is a logistics issue.

“Back 20 years ago, it was much easier to get an inventory on sale,” he said.

Over the years, Singapore Airlines has offered their Book the Cook service, which is one of the most luxurious examples of offering customers a choice. They have recently expanded their service offerings to give passengers the opportunity to book meals on a non-stop route from Newark to Singapore from a longer list than on-board menus.

On Delta Air Lines, passengers in the main cabins of international flights can mix and match their appetizers and main dishes (imagine grilled shrimp marinated in Harissa). To help customers ease jet lag, United works with the Timeshifter app, and the best time for passengers to choose when to sleep depends on their travel destination.

“I think personalization is important because once we understand your expectations and we are able to deliver based on your expectations, we can improve the customer experience,” Betty Wong, vice president of service and design at Singapore Airlines, told Travel. + Casual. “I think everyone likes choice. It gives you control.”

On the other side of the same coin, Norwegian Air sells its fares separately from checked baggage and even catering services. Norwegian airline spokesman Anders Lindström said, for example, it is common to see passengers paying for meals on a day flight from Europe to the United States, but skipping in the opposite case Too.

“We believe no one should pay for what they don’t want,” Lindström said. “I think you are seeing a younger generation who are more demanding in knowing what they are going to pay. They want to make sure they don Pay extra for things you can’t take advantage of. “

Case said that although the wind and grass are certainly good, the first consideration for economy class tickets is almost always the price.

“When you fly on Delta, it’s basically the same as flying in the United States, it’s basically the same as flying on United. This is just one way to go from point a to point b,” Case Say. “As a result, by far their first criterion based on purchase is price.”

Brett Snyder, founder of the aviation industry blog Cranky Flier, said that although he no longer needs to think this is right, he explained that a strong economy has started to determine a more discerning market, but control The idea of ​​what you pay is fascinating. In fact, he said it was an “la carte” or unbundled fare, which has brought huge financial help to airlines (this is also effective for price-sensitive customers and those who want to increase lounge access ) Or Wi-Fi).

“The ability to let people choose also encourages airlines to offer more products with a source of income,” he said. “Especially over the past decade … airlines have performed well and they said, ‘We will try to do this. Invest and see what we can do. ‘”

Ben Mutzabaugh, senior aviation editor at The Points Guy, says that when you choose an airline, making a choice can make you happier, but if you haven’t already, it won’t necessarily make you loyal to an airline.

“If you’re a regular traveler who is loyal to an airline, then you might like these things and it will make you feel like your airline.” “I think the problem becomes: these things Are you transferring passengers from one airline to another? Who knows, but I would be skeptical. “

Tourism industry analyst and atmospheric research group chairman Henry H. Harteveldt said, “We are just beginning to see a large number of personalized services, and it is not yet known exactly which option is the most important choice for passengers.

“What the airline industry would like to be able to offer eventually is to let every traveler, no matter where he or she is sitting on the plane, to customize as much of the journey as they would like and can afford,” he said. “But a lot of things people may end up liking we don’t know yet because airlines don’t do a great job of selling it. What we’re starting to see is an emergence of airlines turning into retailers.”

He added: “If you’re buying the things that appeal to you at a price that you think is fair, then it’s not nickeling and diming.”