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3 Things Travelers Value When Flying

Author: Ethan Jackson

If you have ever flown Spirit Airlines then you know that they charge a fee for just about everything just shy of the oxygen you breath. Every time they announce a new fee we find ourselves complaining. Most of us don't want to pay any more money than we absolutely need to, unless it adds convenience to our busy lives.

A recent report by FlightView, found that the majority of travelers would be willing to pay more for their flights if it reduced the hassle of flying and they were given more perks. The data in the report, which was compiled from 2,339 respondents, found that travelers care most about having a non-stop flight to their destination and being given in-flight experiences.

For some of you, it might not be any surprise that Millennials are even more willing to pay extra for different things while traveling. Even though they are known for valuing minimalism, Millennials are used to having the luxury of convenience – not to mention the ability to check Facebook or text their friends.

No Connections, Please

Seventy percent of travelers surveyed by FlightView said they would be willing to dish out extra money if they could have a non-stop flight instead of connecting in another city. Two-thirds of those people would be willing to spend an additional 10 to 15% more, and the remaining third would be willing to spend an extra 16% or more. Millennials​, however, are 31% more willing to pay extra just for the convenience of a non-stop flight.

Paying extra cash is not the only thing people are willing to do in order to find a non-stop flight. Most are also willing to drive to a different airport if a non-stop flight is available. To be exact, 60% would be willing to skip their local airport in favor of another one just so that they can forgo the inconvenience of connecting flights.

Of those people willing to use a different airport, 25% would be willing to drive two to three hours. This makes it crucial for airlines to understand the needs of their passengers in order to guarantee flight occupancy is at a maximum at all times. (For more, see: 7 Ways To Save On Summer Getaway.)

Luxuries at the Airport

Once we get to the airport the need for convenience doesn't end. Of those individuals surveyed, 60% said they would pay extra for more benefits at the airport, including perks like RFD tags on their luggage, which would give them real-time tracking abilities allowing them to know when their bags would be arriving at baggage claim.

Having the ability to temporarily check your bags at the gate is also important. This would allow passengers to be able to shop and eat without the need to haul their bags around with them.

Other luxuries that people would like to have as a part of their flight experience include priority baggage claim, curbside car rental pickup, and the ability to have flight status updates sent to your family, work, hotel and others that might need an update on your arrival. Lastly, people want the ability to order food from their mobile device so that it's ready when they arrive to pick it up.

While 60% of all respondents said they would pay for these added benefits, 75% of the Millennial respondents would be willing to open their wallets for these things.

Enhanced In-Flight experience

When flying, it can seem like it takes forever to get to your destination. If you are in the middle seat of coach, it can seem like an eternity. Passengers would always welcome having some luxuries during their flights. According to the survey, if those in-flight luxuries are not given, 50% of travelers would be willing to pay extra money to have them.

Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents said they would want to have in-flight wifi with the ability to stream movies and television shows. Other items that people mention they'd want are in-seat charging stations for their electronics, the ability to text during the flight and the ability to de-plane before anyone else.

As with airport conveniences, Millennials are more willing to pay for in-flight benefits: 60%would pay to have these items on their flight, and they would pay up to 10% more than older generations would. (See also: The Economic Impact of Better US-Cuba Relations.)

Airports can use this information to make more money

Airports make a large part of their annual revenue from everything that is inside the airport, from food to gifts to souvenirs. The only problem is that passengers are too worried about their flights and don't have as much time as they would like to fully open up their wallets.

If airports offered passengers a way to move through security lines faster, give them more frequent flight status updates and the ability to know exactly when their plane had arrived at their gate, the airports would increase their bottom lines. Passengers would have more time to shop, eat and drink as they waited for their flights.

The Bottom Line

Unless you are lucky enough to have a non-stop flight from your home airport, traveling can sometimes be a drawn out experience. By offering passengers certain perks, airlines and airports can help make the trip a little more enjoyable while also increasing their revenues.

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