From OTAs, travelers want more predictability in price, travel updates

Fifty-nine percent of North American travelers say the primary way online travel agencies and travel apps enhance the booking experience is through better price predictability, according to new research by travel data provider and OAG.

Fifty-three percent say more real-time travel updates, including advance notice of delays and cancellations and the possibility for making connections, will make the biggest difference. Fifty percent are calling for more non -traditional flight connecting options at better prices.

Only 18% of survey takers say enhancing personalized travel and activity recommendations will enhance the traveler experience.

The survey of more than 1,442 travelers in Canada, the United States and Mexico was conducted in April and May 2022 through OAG’s flight tracking app, FlightView. OAG is based in the United Kingdom.

OAG’s findings show that sustainability is not a priority for many North American travelers. Sixty-two percent of respondents say sustainability is not part of their booking decision, and 48% say they would not pay extra for a more sustainable flight.

Fifty -nine percent of respondents are willing to share biometric data – through face recognition, fingerprint and retina scanning – to get through security lines faster. Fifty-six percent are willing to use biometrics to streamline customs and immigration. Only 28% report being moderately to extremely concerned about sharing their data for airport processing.

However, biometric screening does not exist everywhere and acquisition is slow, said OAG chief analyst John Grant.

“For many medium/small sized airports the business case is meaningless,” Grant said, “and for larger airports investment in anything has stopped in the last two years because of COVID.

“Everyone in the travel process wants to see [biometric screening] used more and more, but it will last. “

The OAG report shows that 63% of North American travelers book international flights, and nearly 60% are flying to a new destination this year. Respondents say the $ 50 and $ 100 ticket price increases are unlikely to stop them from booking. When at the airport, flight delays, cancellations and customer service issues are in the biggest areas of impact for consumers.