The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s Business Innovation and Analytics Solutions (eBIAS) team (with whom I work as Manager of e-Business Solutions) is very proud of its contribution to the Authority’s Travel Information & Revenue Enhancement Platform (TIREP), for which MWAA, represented by CIO Goutam Kundu, received CIO Magazine’s CIO 100 Award in 20016. TIREP is designed to centralize all media content and data coming from multiple sources, including the Transportation Security Administration, baggage handling systems and the airlines, and make it available to travelers on a variety of personal devices and public display systems. The eBIAS team’s contribution included developing the cloud applications, enterprise integrations and webservices that make up the core of TIREP, as well as leading the UX/UI for customer-facing applications, which leverage TIREP services to improve passenger experience at Reagan National and Dulles International.
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.