Customer experience with low-cost airlines and hotels

By | Category: Travel rumblings
Travelodge logo


A few days ago I summarised the 2016 KPMG Nunwood report on customer experience.

From that report what I found the most interesting apart from the lack of travel companies in the top 100 was the difference between low-cost airlines and low-cost hotels.

In the airline sector, Jet 2, easyJet, and Ryanair might be considered low-cost. Aer Lingus also trades on being a lower cost option. In the hotel industry there are a few brands that dominate the low cost market, Travelodge, Premier Inn and Ibis.

In the report releases this week both Travelodge and Premier Inn made the list of the top 100 companies. Only Jet 2 carried the banner for low-cost airlines. Why is there a difference in customer expectation between the two sectors in the travel industry?

logo of Premier Inn

Premier Inn

They both appeal to the same market; that which wants inexpensive and good value from their purchases. Yet the hotel duo can come out of the report with good customer experience figures and low-cost airlines cannot. What is each group doing differently and why aren’t the airlines looking at the hotel model and copying bits that it can?

The Premier Inn advertisements fronted by Lenny Henry emphasise a comfort at an affordable price. Travelodge promotions used puppet type figures, music and suggested staying at their hotels was “Travelodgical.” Both emphasised a lead-in price of £29 per night.

Ryanair’s advertisements this year louder and brasher but still concentrated on price at the end of their television advertising in years. easyJet’s recent television ads were similar being noisy and ending up with emphasising price.

Is that the reason why service is so differently related? The two hotels concentrate on what the bedrooms will provide; the airlines on sizzle.

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