WPS panel says an innovative approach is needed to boost onboard passenger spend

Airlines must develop more creative ways to stimulate passenger spend if onboard ancillary revenues are to reach their potential.

On many carriers, cabin crew are still walking up and down the aisle giving passengers only a short window of time to buy even on long-haul flights.

But broadband access and services enabled by onboard connectivity—such as destination shopping, premium entertainment content, and targeted advertising—are already growing quickly.

Airlines should take a fresh look at what they sell, why they are selling it, and what price they want to charge

Airlines must move forward in several ways, especially as the $15 billion broadband access revenue stream may dwindle as passengers increasingly expect free Wi-Fi wherever they are.

Most crucially, airlines should take a fresh look at what they sell, why they are selling it, and what price they want to charge, argued panellists at Wednesday’s Onboard Ancillary Revenue Session.

Looking at what competitors offer or what has been traditionally offered is not a way forward, they agreed.

Payment must also be easier. Many sales are lost because passengers don’t have their credit card to hand

Content must also be marketed properly. People are more likely to make purchases when traveling than when they are at home according to research. But passengers never know what is on offer until they board the aircraft.

Why not work with other retailers and sell something that can be picked up on arrival?

Payment must also be easier. Many sales are lost because passengers don’t have their credit card to hand. But they often have their smartphone, or their credit card details may already be on file.

Interestingly, the panel agreed that seat back screens will not disappear any time soon even though most passengers now bring a connected device onboard.

Connectivity is not yet comparable to the on-ground experience but also people continue to behave much as they do at home.

That means that they will probably be on their own device—checking their emails or browsing Facebook while watching a movie.

Top