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Merchandising innovations delight passengers and boost airlines’ profits

Merchandising innovations delight passengers and boost airlines’ profits

Airlines have always focused on the number of seats they sell. It’s similar to auto manufacturers’ fascination with selling cars, rather than focusing on the business of transporting people. Likewise, carriers shouldn’t focus solely on airline seats, but rather on the entire time a consumer spends away from home. Instead of claiming a small piece of this business, airlines could broaden their agendas to become complete retailers of travel.

The 2017 merchandising report describes how innovation in other industries, and within the travel business, can help airlines delight travelers and boost profits. The following are five examples from the report:

• Allegiant is building the largest master-planned hotel-condo resort on Florida’s west coast to create an airline-airport-resort relationship that will become a pipeline for profits.

• EasyJet has introduced an online booking platform to sell connecting flights on Norwegian and WestJet between Europe and Argentina, Canada, Singapore, and the US (via London Gatwick), with an initial likelihood of generating $200,000 per week in new revenue.

• Delta Air Lines has reinvested a portion of its big baggage revenue into a mobile application that allows travelers to view a bag’s location, be it in the baggage room, on the ramp, or planeside.

• Tui Netherlands is using portable battery-powered boxes that allow passengers to use mobile phones to order beverages and snacks from their seats.

• Jeju Air in Korea sells its Sleeping Seat Package for $100 which blocks two adjacent empty seats and includes a blanket and pillow.

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