From being a novel offering to evolving into something more edgy and user-friendly, airline apps have matured multifold in the last few quarters, catalyzed of course by technology. Some products on the apps have become standardized with minor tweaks that offer users more ease, while new products have spawned on the sidelines, giving birth to new needs. videc’s App in the Sky assesses these developments within Android apps as airlines worldwide cross-sell varied products to travelers.
With air ticketing being fundamental to the airline app, it is excluded from this analysis. In turn, the focus is on other non-air products that are introduced to maintain user stickiness. However, there are still a select few, smaller airlines that either don’t have an app (just a mobile-friendly website) or have one that simply redirects users to the browser.
Accommodation is one of the biggest travel segments and airlines are rapidly striking partnerships for retailing. Hotels are not so widely-offered on airline apps yet; it is present in 23% of apps in 4Q19. But these are early days still and airlines will have to observe this space before investing more in this.
Business travelers typically stick to the rental company their company uses, or those they are most comfortable with since car rental companies also have loyalty programs. Few airlines view car rentals as an attractive add-on product for onward traveler journeys, as is evident with its incorporation in 19% of the airline apps. Car rentals work well with corporate travelers and road warriors alike.
VACATIONS AND PACKAGES
Just 4% of the airline apps analyzed offered holiday and vacation packages. In general, offering a multi-product offering is complex, and requires numerous partnerships. Still, in most cases airlines white-label the holiday product. But its transition in the app is still in very early stages.
This service is typically the forte of a travel agent/travel desk so it makes sense that only 3% of airlines cross-sell coach or other forms of surface transfers to its passengers. Typically, products that focus on individuals rather than a group works better on an airline app.
Even as a select few on-demand taxi and ride-sharing apps have gone public, a meagre 3% of airline apps have collaborated with companies such as Uber, Didi, and Grab to offer a seamless airport transfer experience to its travelers. Some even feature special offers for bookings via the airline apps so as to improve app stickiness.