Flightchats 2blog Post

FlightChats: Travel Context Matters to Travelers

In our latest FlightChats video, Meara and Robyn talk about a very key member of the travel drama: the traveler themselves. They discuss the challenge of determining what information a traveler needs in light of all the other information available to them, and why travel context is a critical tool for addressing that challenge.

Opportunity to Boost Engagement

Two of the main reasons why any service provider decides to notify a traveler are brand adoption and engagement. Engagement is essential in the travel industry, especially when it comes to communicating with travelers. There is a lot of competition to get the traveler’s attention, and you have to have a firm understanding of what that traveler wants to know and when they need to know it. You have a lot to gain as a service provider if you can nail that.

Proactive communication is the key to really driving traveler engagement, whether you’re communicating via a mobile application or another service you’re offering them. However, there are several communication mistakes you should avoid:

  • Inundating travelers with too much information
  • Providing erroneous information
  • Sending irrelevant information

Making any of these mistakes will cause travelers to tune you out. They will immediately delete your app, ignore your emails, etc.

A New Generation of Travelers

Communication tolerances are getting shorter among travelers. The bar is set very high. In a world of options, you have to make sure your option is the best. You’re almost better off not communicating with travelers if you commit to doing it and fail to use best practices.

We live in a world of impatient travelers, especially with the Millennials coming into the equation, and it’s now expected that you know enough information about a traveler to give them relevant information at the right time.

Travel context is about taking the time to learn where a traveler is during their journey and applying that knowledge to your communication with them so you can provide a higher level of service. Information is no longer a “nice to have.” It is an expectation. If you don’t tell travelers what they believe they need to know at exactly the right moment, then you’re going to struggle to maintain their attention and loyalty.

Accounting for Multiple Travel Scenarios

It’s important to remember that travelers don’t want to know everything. You have to be selective about the messages you send them based on their individual experience.

For example, a 15-minute delay will potentially mean something different to every single passenger experiencing that delay:

  • For Traveler A, a 15-minute delay means that they don’t have to get to the gate at the exact time they originally expected. They can slow down, maybe have a cup of coffee.
  • For Traveler B, that same 15-minute delay means you’re only arriving a little bit late at their destination. It’s not a big deal.
  • Then for Traveler C with a tight connection, it means they’re not going to make their next flight. That small delay really is going to have a negative impact on them.

On any given airplane, there could be as many relevant, contextual pieces of information to communicate as there are passengers. You have to use the context of where the traveler is in their journey in order to understand how severe the impact is going to be to each individual traveler If you really want to differentiate your service, then you must consider all the different combinations of situations before you communicate a message. It’s in your best interest as a service provider to handle each change or disruption differently and appropriately, according to the traveler’s experience.

So, context absolutely matters to a traveler’s experience and there are many other stakeholders, from those people who are helping travelers manage disruption to the corporations who might be buying a ticket for that traveler. There are all going to have an interest in knowing the right information at the right time so they can communicate with travelers. In order to be successful, information has to be:

  • Relevant
  • Timely
  • Actionable
  • Audience appropriate
  • Based on travel context

So stay with us, we’re going to be continuing to talk about travel context in future FlightChats videos. The next episode will be addressing one of those stakeholders. Thank you for watching! Please subscribe to our YouTube channel so you never miss a FlightChat.