Flight price is far and away the most important factor for British travellers when choosing an airline, a new poll from cheap flight site Skyscanner has revealed.Despite significant investment by many airlines in initiatives such as customer loyalty programmes, brand-building and improvements to the overall ‘customer experience’, 37% of Skyscanner users said that price was their most important factor when choosing a carrier. This was followed by ‘convenient departure times’ and ‘distance of airport from final destination’ - both receiving 15% of the vote - showing that practical considerations are also high up on travellers’ agendas.
Interestingly, ‘punctuality’ only scored 11% of the vote, sharing 4th place with ‘safety record and age of fleet’, implying that passengers either prioritise cost over getting there on time, or they don’t perceive any great difference between the punctuality of budget airlines over more expensive carriers.
Consumers are also less concerned with airline brand, which received 6%, and are unswayed by added value initiatives such as airmile schemes, which received 3%, and luxuries such as customer lounges, which received just 1% of the vote.
Barry Smith, Skyscanner co-founder and director commented:
“In these tough economic times, it’s little surprise that price is the number one most important factor when it comes to booking a flight. All things being equal, consumers may be influenced by airline brand or reward schemes like airmiles, but the first priority for passengers is the quality and value of the core product - a well-priced flight that gets you where you want to go when you want to get there.”