Airline data to understand traveler behavior
The travel industry creates a substantial amount of data, and connecting the dots to actually use it for business strategy hasn’t been that simple – until now. Airline Reporting Corporation’s cloud-based data infrastructure provides real-time information to help airlines, agencies and destinations make better decisions.
Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC)
Take a look at the mountain of airline data over the past two and a half years, and you might start scratching your head. Between border closures, mask mandates, work-from-anywhere patterns, and continued uncertainty across the globe, it’s been difficult to establish any kind of pattern for travel behaviors. However, the world slowly begins to fall into a rhythm.
“The 2020 and 2021 data are a bit of an outlier for long-term analysis,” said Chuck Thackston, managing director of data science at Airlines Reporting Corporation, “but there are indications that we are returning to a level more reliable predictability.
As a new picture of booking preferences emerges, what kinds of insights emerge? ARC’s ticketing data – 15 billion passenger journeys across 490 airlines at 3,330 airports – helps the entire travel experience ecosystem understand how to move forward and respond to a new set of customer expectations.
Identify new service needs
While many summer travel headlines have focused on airlines cutting flights and reducing service in certain markets, ARC’s information tells another side of the story: where airlines should be looking to create more route options.
“Airlines can use the data to examine underserved markets,” Thackston said. “After the summer bumps, airlines have taken a measured approach to adding routes to their schedules. Our data can help them connect the dots to identify where to add capacity first. This gives airlines a chance to meet demand and takes the guesswork out of determining which markets will drive their business. »
ARC data is ultimately designed to impact the most important element of the experience: the traveler. For example, the company’s new Advanced Data Analytics feature allows users to predict which scheduled routes will be most appealing to travelers.
Provide opportunities to agencies and destinations
As leisure demand continues to fuel the first phase of the recovery, Thackston points out that ARC’s data also presents valuable opportunities for travel agencies.
“There’s an opportunity to look at areas that aren’t as obvious in the recovery curve,” he said. “Which means it can be places that are great travel destinations, especially on the leisure travel side, where they can look at those places and say, ‘Well, that’s a great place to go” but it hasn’t made it to the top of many people’s lists. Perhaps it will be less crowded and present a good buy for budget conscious leisure travelers .
ARC’s data also provides a clear opportunity for other key industry players. The company’s new Destination Gateway tool is designed to help convention and visitor bureaus and destination marketing organizations better understand how web searches, service hours and capacity stack up against their competitive set.
Understand what has changed in the foreseeable future
Some elements of the traditional business travel landscape have always disappeared and may never return. The rise of virtual meeting platforms means booking a trip from New York to London just for a three-hour meeting is unlikely to happen. However, that doesn’t mean the trip is entirely irrelevant.
“People are starting to look a little more at bleisure opportunities,” Thackston said. “Also, some companies try to consider combining trips for better ROI by visiting three or four customers. This makes booking a little more complex.
We are also seeing some things that we are looking at in more detailed cases, where there are trips that are not coming back soon,” he added. “For example, travel to and around China is very slow to recover and is still a long way off. ”
This is an obvious obstacle for the travel industry in the United States, which has already made a big bet on high-spending Chinese travelers. The country’s zero-covid measures, which include testing negative and a 14-day quarantine for passengers, are likely the biggest hurdle in the way. Until the government changes the policy, travel agencies will have to plan for the expected absence of Chinese tourists.
Eliminate the hard work of data analysis
The ability to bring all this new information together sounds promising, but for a travel industry rooted in a maze of disconnected legacy technologies, harnessing the real power of large datasets has been a bit like trying to circumnavigate the globe without worrying. stop to refuel: it is impossible.
“We ask ourselves a fundamental question every time we work with a client: what is the easiest way for this company to access data and be able to extract value from it?” said Thackston. “Integration with the IT group is crucial. It’s the only way to make it work very, very quickly.
The other piece of the ARC puzzle involves every company’s most limited resource: time.
“There are things we can do quickly to add value to a client’s bottom line, whether it’s specific markets, personalities or clients,” Thackston said. “We are taking a phased approach that allows us to step in and have an immediate impact in two or three key areas with the plan to accomplish even more in the future.”
“A lot of airlines have every technology platform you can imagine,” he added. “In fact, they are improving a lot to consolidate and make more efficient. Some airlines are leading the way, going directly into ARC databases, capturing that data and using it in real time. This saves them time and money because they don’t have to receive a file, ingest it, and have their IT staff create systems for it. This is really where our passion lies and where we focus our time – to make it easier for large and small airlines and travel agencies to have this data available.
To learn more about how ARC’s customizable data solution can improve your business’ air travel intelligence, visit the ARC Data webpage.
This article was created in collaboration by Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) and Skift-branded content studio, SkiftX.