Flight bookers would pay more ‘if online booking process easier’

Three out of four Brits would be prepared to pay more for travel if booking it online was made easier, according to a study.

And 80% find preparing for and understanding overseas Covid-19 restrictions stressful, researchers found.

The poll was conducted among more than 2,000 UK consumers who had booked flights online to travel abroad in the last two years.

More than half (56%) said they found the process of booking flights for the right airline, price and time for their holiday stressful.

The research was commissioned by global digital product agency Somo and included in its report called Search to sale: Bringing airlines’ digital experience up to speed.

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Two in five (41%) of consumers surveyed admitted to having booked a more expensive flight or hotel simply because the online booking process was easier than with the preferred cheaper holiday or flight of choice.

Almost two thirds (58%) of people admit abandoning a booking because the process was too stressful and complicated.

Two thirds (65%) have planned staycations, with more than half of those doing so because they feel it is too complicated and stressful to go abroad.

However, 83% would be more likely to holiday abroad this year if airline providers or holiday companies made the process easier and were clearer about Covid restrictions.

More than half (58%) said they have airline apps on their smartphones, enabling airlines to update customers digitally.

Customers also want airlines to be clearer about visa restrictions or document requirements at their destinations.

Rebecca Crook, Somo’s chief growth officer (pictured), said: “The biggest pain point revealed in the report is the communication between airline or holiday provider and customer, to the point where the inefficiencies and stress are resulting in people abandoning the idea and opting to holiday domestically.

“We saw the extreme levels this reached with the recent airport chaos over Easter and continuing into the summer travel period, with serious communication breakdowns between airlines and travellers, who were left stranded or without proper support.

“There is a huge opportunity here to provide a better, more joined-up digital experience – our research shows people are literally willing to pay more for it.”

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