Learning from one-way tickets

29Jan10

Let’s say that you’re an airline, and you notice that more and more customers are booking one-way tickets. Are all these people moving to a new state or country, and leaving their old lives behind? Doubtful. The more likely explanation is that the other half of your flights suck. And since many airlines have cut back on flights and nonstop routes, these customers had no choice but to book each leg of the flight with a different airline, which is why they bought a one-way ticket from you instead of a round trip.

In fact, every one-way ticket is an opportunity to learn from your customers and add profitable routes to your schedule. What’s the secret? Just show a little survey when someone buys a one-way flight. Ask them why they didn’t book a round trip, e.g. because you didn’t have flights at the time they wanted, all the flights had a stopover, etc. If you collect enough feedback this way, I bet you can expand the flight schedule incrementally, and convert a bunch of those one-way flyers into round trip customers.



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