Dubai, 26 April 2017: Middle East airlines need to start catering for the expectations of the ‘Netflix’ generation in order to engender loyalty and remain competitive, says subscription travel technology provider TravelPass.

Speaking on 26 April at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, senior vice president business development David Taylor said: “Subscription-based concepts are trending in all walks of life, however this is an area in which the majority of airlines are currently lagging. Subscription-based travel gives huge benefits to both parties. Passengers avoid the repetitive tasks involved in each booking, saving time and remaining loyal to the airline, which in turn enjoys increased self-service, direct sales and customer satisfaction.

“Mobile commerce is growing exponentially and yet few airlines have gained plaudits for the functional ease of their apps,” Taylor continued. “Studies into loyalty by companies such as Facebook have shown there is a huge opportunity to deepen and strengthen customer relationships by ensuring the service an airline offers provides a memorable experience. By offering a product that simplifies the travel booking process to a few clicks, TravelPass makes repeat travel easy and airlines who offer this service will see these passengers return time and again.”

TravelPass, a similar concept to smartcards used on other forms of transport, gives travellers the opportunity to buy a pass that carries a certain amount of trips, or even unlimited travel for a given period. This technology enables airlines to offer subscription products to their passengers, making it much easier and quicker to bulk-purchase flights. TravelPass integrates with the airlines’ PSS and GDS, such as Sabre or Amadeus, allowing the airline to handle subscription customers in the same way as any other booking when it comes to changes, rebooking, cancellations and revenue management.

“Airlines need to differentiate themselves and be able to compete on more than just price,” Taylor added. “TravelPass has an admin tool that allows airlines to set business rules and product attributes so they can build a unique offering. Ease of repeat booking and exclusive rewards should be high up on an airline’s agenda and considered at least as important as redeemable loyalty points.”

Taylor concluded: “Customers are loyal to suppliers who make transactions effortless, as Amazon has shown the world over. The opportunity for airlines is now to change the behaviour of frequent passengers from being buyers to bookers and to make the repeat booking process so streamlined it gives customers no reason to ever consider an alternative.”