I was recently researching flight information APIs, and I came across a compelling white paper by OAG/FlightView: “Self-Connection: The Rise and Roadblocks of a Growing Travel Booking Strategy – How Airlines, Airports and Third-Party Travel Providers Can Capitalize on a Growing Market Opportunity”
According to the OAG report, self-connecting passengers are those that book separate tickets to fly from City A to City C, via City B. The report is based on 2,968 total respondents using OAG’s FliteView travel app between December 2015 – January 2016, consisting of 66% leisure travelers, 34% business travelers.
While certainly not comprehensive, the report tells an intersting story about how self-connection has evolved in Europe, and how the data shows it’s ripening in US markets.
- This report tackles these key questions:
- How and why travelers choose to self-connect?
- How much time and money travelers would need to save during the selfconnecting experience?
- What roadblocks preventing them from selfconnecting more often?
- How can airlines and airports can capitalize on this opportunity and simplify the process?
While there is a healthy dose of OAG marketing thrown into the report, the data makes a compelling case for paying more attention to self-connectors.
According to the report, airline and airport executives can capitalize on the market and deliver more value to self-connecting travelers by doing the following:
- Monitor millennials, who as a group have demonstrated a propensity to embrace self-connecting travel, and proactively invest in areas that cater to this market.
- Leverage optimized airline schedule data (i.e. analyzing schedules data to see how (and if) new flights to non-hub airports will impact traffic and demand) to establish a foothold in the self-connection booking process.
- Easy the stress of self-connection travelers by offering one-stop information and check-in kiosks that serve multiple airlines and provide better flight information transparency and airline-to-airline baggage services
- Create value by offering premium self-connection services, such as guaranteed rebooking services and baggage insurance.
At nine pages, this report is a light read and not very big on data points, but it is a good jumping-off point for a more in-depth discussion of self-connection revenue opportunities.