Airline Marketing SimpliRecap: The Road Ahead for In-Flight Entertainment, The Future of Airline Websites, Qatar Airways sells tickets at Harrods & more!

Editor’s Note: While SimpliFlying’s aviation marketing thought leadership goes far and wide, we know there is more great content beyond our borders. SimpliRecap is a weekly feature that ensures that our readers don’t miss the latest in airline or airport marketing. This week’s selection is from the world of airline marketing. [push h=”15″]

What would the airline website of the future look like? 

Airline websites and other sites selling flights face a unique challenge, as fares and inventory change in the blink of an eye. Apart from the content, inventory, and pricing, travel brands have many other things to take care of in their website, including page load timedesign concept, uniformity through all pages of the site, and color palette — as well as reducing the bounce rate, improving “stickiness”, increasing the conversion rate, and more. Fantasy Interactive, a digital design agency, has come up with a concept design of an airline site of the future.

Read more on Tnooz.

Qatar Airways sells tickets at Harrods

“London is one of our most important gateways,” said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker. “We are opening our ticket office in central London at Harrods as it is a place that not only reflects the high level of service we offer, but is where our most discerning customers can be found. Harrods customers can now experience our unrivalled 5 star service in-store and onboard.”

Read more at airlinetrends.com.

Looking at the future of in-flight entertainment (IFE)

As a result of the technological developments, the IFEC market is becoming fragmented. According to APEX editor and IFEC specialist Mary Kirby: “The airline industry is divided on what the future holds for in-seat IFE in a world where tablet and smartphone use is exploding, and where wireless IFE and onboard connectivity is quickly gaining traction… How the IFE market will shift out in the coming years – i.e. there is no one-size-fits-all solution, even in the long-haul market. What is evident, however, is that airlines are asking questions about what IFE business models work for them rather than basing these decisions on what their competitors are doing or what they think their passengers want.”

Read more at Future Travel Experience.

Educating Passengers increasingly important as Airline Business Models Evolve 

“Whenever you are different you get more scrutiny,” explains a Spirit spokeswoman, who adds the carrier’s business model is not always understood. Similar to American, Spirit is bolstering its efforts to improve passenger understanding of add-on options during the booking process. The carrier’s spokeswoman states Spirit aims to make passengers well aware of their options. “We don’t want you to be surprised when you get to the airport,” she explains. Among the actions Spirit is taking to improve passenger awareness is providing airport personnel with additional training to enhance customer relations.

Read more at APEX Editor’s Blog.

virgin-atlantic-guest-list

Virgin Atlantic offers Economy passengers First Class Perks

The “Guest List” program is now available (for a price) to all Virgin Atlantic travelers, sharing the perks once solely reserved for Upper Class flyers with those seated in Economy or Premium Economy. It’s essentially a fast track to VIP treatment without having to pay the premium airfare of an Upper Class ticket, from only $384 per person or $544 per couple (traveling in the same car).

Read more at Jaunted.

Tasting JetBlue’s five new fresh-food options

Well, this Tuesday JetBlue began a 3 route test (JFK – LAX, Long Beach, and SFO) of new fresh food options. There is a turkey croissant with a muffin and fruit for breakfast, quinoa salad or roast beef sandwich for lunch/dinner, and antipasto or yogurt all day long. Caroline Ramsey, Manager of Product Development in charge of the buy on board program, flew in from JFK to Long Beach that day to see how everything was going. When she arrived, she joined me in a private tasting where we could sample all the options.

Read more at Cranky Flier.

Iberia now lets passengers print baggage tags at home

The MyBagTag service is straight-forward: Flyers weigh their luggage at home and print the label. Upon arrival at the airport, they place the paper inside a plastic envelope and have the barcode scanned by an attendant at the fast bag-check counter.

Read more at Skift.

10 Social Media, Mobile and Online Travel Stats

There are an estimated 199 airlines active on Twitter, but the following airlines lead the pack on social media: Jetblue has the biggest account, with over 2.1M followers, American Airlines has the biggest Klout score (95) and is the most active with over 255,000 tweets, while KLM is most liked on Facebook with almost 4M likes.

Some more great stats here.

Lessons in Crisis Management from the Asiana Airlines Crash

The final link comes from the SimpliFlying stable. In case you missed it, our analysis has already received around 80,000 views.

“Unfortunately, Asiana Airlines, with the world’s eyes set on it, was slow to respond and was far from satisfying the insatiable need for more information in the hours after the crash.
The lesson learnt is that social media needs to be an integral part of any crisis management plan for an airline or an airport today. There is no longer the luxury to respond in two hours, or even twenty minutes.”

Read more here.

Shubhodeep Pal

Shubhodeep Pal

Vice President, Products and Operations at SimpliFlying
Shubhodeep Pal is the Vice President, Products and Operations at SimpliFlying. He has been leading Research, Product Development, Marketing and Business Development since December 2010 from the headquarters in Singapore. He has spoken at airline conferences and delivered training workshops for senior aviation executives. He has also appeared on television interviews and been quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal. His writings have appeared extensively on SimpliFlying and respected industry outlets such as Airlinetrends, Tnooz, Airport World, Low Cost and Regional Airline Business Magazine and Loyalty360. In a previous role, he also conducted a workshop on social media at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. He speaks three languages fluently, and is also a published poet and amateur film critic. He can be reached at shubhodeep@simpliflying.com.
Shubhodeep Pal
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