Low-Cost Carriers vs. Full Service Carriers
This edition of videc’s App in the Sky examines various features that airlines incorporate in their Android apps to enable passengers to manage their itinerary. Of the 65 global airlines reviewed in 2Q19, 20 were low-cost carriers (LCCs) and 45 were full-service carriers (FSCs). Offering these features has become a key element today due to the rising preference among travelers to use smart phones over desktops to manage travel on-the-go. This is true not just for various services but also reviewing booking history, customer support and modifications in their booking. While there are many standalone apps in the market that offer a more elaborate travel management product, having one’s airline app do that is preferable because of attractive loyalty programs and disinclination to download more apps than necessary.
FLIGHT BOOKING HISTORY
A 100% of the LCC examined in 2Q19 feature flight booking history option in their app. This key aspect of itinerary management not only lets travelers track their activities, but also becomes a base for airlines to overlay a variety of ancillaries to upsell, offer customer support, and integrate loyalty and partner benefits programs. The statistic for flight booking history was somewhat lower for traditional carriers at 95%.
CHANGE/ CANCEL BOOKINGS
The LCCs are out-doing the FSCs in terms of offering their Android users the option to change or cancel their bookings on their apps. Their number stood at 95% in 2Q19 while traditional carriers were at 93%. This is impressive given the complex nature of systems and fare rules the airlines have in place.
MOBILE BOARDING PASS SUPPORT
One would have thought that all airlines would get on the mobile boarding pass bandwagon without exception. But the 2Q19 statistics show that 95% of LCCs are offering mobile boarding pass on their apps while only 89% of FSCs are doing this. Whether the airline mobile app supports transactions or not, offering boarding passes is perhaps the most valuable asset an airline could offer its on-the-go, environment-friendly traveler.
As one of the most-used services that come into play even before the traveler boards a flight, the ability to check-in natively via mobile apps is still surprisingly missing from a few Android apps. Up to 95% of LCCs analyzed in 2Q19 offered mobile check-in to their app users as compared with 86% of FSCs. The airlines that do not offer native mobile check-in experience redirect users to their websites.