Choosing an Airline

By | Category: Travel rumblings

According to research by TripAdvisor, price is the most important feature in selecting a fare and 85% of their respondents now buy their tickets online which should make travel agents worried.

Here we have some wonderful research that shows how sceptical the average traveller should be about sloppy conclusions like this.

Price is important but it interacts with some other things. The fact that the airline flies to the destination you want to go to; the fact that the airport is convenient to get to and that it goes approximately when you want to go all play a role.  Other things will then come into play in deciding what to do which could include the length of the journey compared to the comfort of the seat. I know tall people who will only fly business class on trips to the Far East or Australasia because of the time they will spend in the plane. Others will pay more because they need to keep their frequent flyer mileage ticking over. Others will pay more because they refuse to fly on a particular airline (I myself won’t fly on one airline, not because of safety but because of the number of late/cancelled/rerouted flights I have had.) Others choose reputation or national loyalty. But on most occasions, any or some of these reasons are linked to price and most people operate a balancing act. To say price by itself is the main influence just suggests that the people writing the survey don’t understand the relationships in selecting a flight. Heck I even know people who are trying to fly on as many different airlines as possible so price is immaterial to them.

More people are buying tickets online, the survey shows, and the comment is that travel agents should be worried.  85% buy online, they say. What a surprise. TripAdvisor users are internet users so what do you expect? Ask those who don’t have computers and you will get survey results that may show that 100% don’t book online. Headlines could then scream that people are ditching internet usage.

 It all comes down to who and how you ask

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