FLIGHT SEARCH CAPABILITIES IN AIRLINE APPS - 2Q19

At a time when airlines are trying to streamline their sales channels and bring customers on to their own platforms as much as possible, the search tool on airlines’ Android apps has not been exploited enough yet. videc’s App in the Sky examines this by breaking down each leg of the journey to find out what kind of user experience these apps from 65 worldwide airlines offer. Of these, 20 were low-cost carriers (LCCs) while 45 were full-service carriers (FSCs). Apps that don’t support native flight search naturally lose out on offering a seamless shopping and booking experience. This leakage is visible across prominent airline brands.

ONE-WAY FLIGHT SEARCH

Full marks to LCCs for this one. At 100%, they fulfilled the basic criterion for a flight search option. Since most search attempts take place on-the-move, and because digital sales is now a priority for airlines, all airlines that were part of the study offered one-way search option. This figure for one-way flight search on the app was 98% for traditional airlines. The remaining 2% redirected users to their websites, which hampers the native app shopping experience.

Low Cost Carriers

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Full services Carriers

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Base: 65 airlines | View Methodology

RETURN JOURNEY FLIGHT SEARCH

Even today, native flight search is not supported by all airline Android apps. Search for return journeys for both LCCs as well as FSCs is at 95% in 2Q19, indicating room for improvement in closing the loop with one-way searches. The exceptions in this two-way flight result could be focusing on the corporate traveler, whose return date is usually open-ended.

Low Cost Carriers

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Full services Carriers

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Base: 65 airlines | View Methodology

SAME DAY FLIGHT SEARCH

To ensure their flights are full, 75% of the LCCs invested in offering same-day booking tool to their app users in 2Q19. This figure rested at 70% for the FSCs. If we assume that these numbers are a reflection of the pressures under which airlines operate to fill their seats, then they should be hovering close to the late 90’s rather than early 70’s since this would be the quickest way for all airlines to ensure their flight goes full.

Low Cost Carriers

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Full services Carriers

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Base: 65 airlines | View Methodology

MULTI-CITY FLIGHT SEARCH

At 20%, LCCs are not doing much to offer their users the option to search for and therefore book multi-city routes. But given the complicated distribution systems airlines use, this is not surprising. This number shot up to 57% for the FSCs though. This could be because the traditional carriers are also flying international routes and therefore feel the need to incorporate the multi-city search option for their users.

Low Cost Carriers

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Full services Carriers

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Base: 65 airlines | View Methodology


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