Technological progress has been going on in the sector of Aviation from time to time. Since the 1980s, Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) has been transforming tourism globally. This essay will be looking into the matter how ICT in the aviation industry has changed the way costumers book their flight through internet, by looking at various sources. The other issue the essay would be focusing at is what customers demand from the websites of the airlines to help make their work easier by helping them to find the right thing for them.
The development of the ICT specially the internet has empowered the consumers and is giving them an exceptional value for money and time (Twenty years on and 10 years after the Internet: The state of eTourism research, 2008). Where internet is helping consumers to save their time on the same time internet is helping the companies to reduce their costs’. Consumers are now able book their paperless tickets online.
The fares have been reduced as there are no agents wanting their commission. Sometimes consumers also get financial incentives for self-booking online (eAirlines: strategic and tactical use of ICTs in the airline industry,buhalis,2004). No-frills airlines are using their web sites to attract and communicate directly with consumers (E. Jorgensen, Southwest Airlines: Success Story). This enables them to bypass travel agencies and their commissions.
In 2003, both Easyjet and Ryanair achieved more than 92% of their bookings through their web sites, whilst Southwest sold 50% of its tickets on its web site (eAirlines: strategic and tactical use of ICTs in the airline industry). Researching the information is a very significant part of a decision process which has revolutionized by the internet. The more the consumer researches about trip, the more information he has, which eventually helps him deciding the best for him.
ICT does not only reduce uncertainty and perceived risks but also enhance the quality of trips (Fodness & Murray, 1997). A well informed consumer is able to interact much better with local people, resources and cultures, to find the services and products that meet his requirement and to take advantage of the reduced prices and special offers(Twenty years on and 10 years after the Internet: The state of eTourism research, Dimitrios Buhalis, Rob Law,2008). Global Distribution
System (GDS) is a computer reservation system, typically owned jointly by airlines in different countries, that includes reservation databases of suppliers in many countries. Abbreviated GDS. This term has largely replaced “computerized reservation system (CRS)” as the term of choice within the industry (www. hotel-online. com). Customer’s loyalty towards an airline has become more important and more threatened as a result of heightened competition because of the number of the number of airlines in the industry.
Moreover, the increase in competition has increased the cost of loyalty programs that provide a wide variety of benefits to loyal customers or to keep existing customers from moving to other airlines, such as free or discounted tickets, upgrades to premium cabins, separate reservation telephone numbers and check in counters at airports, use of airport lounges, special boarding priority or seating preferences. In order to meet customer expectations, airlines need to track not only the value provided and received from these loyalty benefits but also the costs of providing such benefits.
Internet is one of the most influential things that have changed consumers’ behavior. Internet enables the consumers to interact directly with the airline or the suppliers reducing the role of intermediaries. Today consumers want a dynamic package rather than selected few holiday packages, and internet has made this possible by allowing the consumers going directly to the company they want to deal with to customize their products. The internet has been already been influencing the markets of developing countries like China and India by allowing customers to be dynamic.
Moving to the choice for the consumers, internet has given consumers a lot of options and choices. Consumers can now look through number of companies who they might want to go with. They can choose from a single journey to a whole customized holiday package. No-Frills airline like ryanair and easyjet focus only on their websites cutting all the unnecessary costs and allowing the customers to book their flights or packages on very low prices. Personal Information is something which a person is very careful about.
But, increasingly consumers are willing to provide their personal information in exchange of better services and products that they want. Complain is another very significant issue for a company, in order to provide a way for the customers to provide a feedback and give a complaint, airline companies have a different section on their websites to handle the complains so that there is a proper channel of communication between management and unsatisfied customers. With numerous advantages of the airline websites, comes many problems as it is a computer based system.
A computer system can crash any moment which can cause the airline huge losses. A report by Akamai and Jupiter Research has shown that 28% of online shoppers will not wait longer than four seconds for a web page to load before leaving3. Looking at broadband Internet users alone, the number is even higher. A full one third of those abandon a web page if it takes longer than four seconds to load. Needless to say, if a site is down, 100% of the site visitors are turned away. It’s the equivalent of lock¬ing the door to the store(press. and1. co. uk). Airlines also try to earn more revenue by unfair means. Ryanair has several different hidden costs which increases the cost of a return flight by treble even though it is a low cost airline. ?20 per person per round trip to check in at desk with hand luggage. ?30 / ? 40 per bag per round trip to check in a suitcase with online check in. ?60 per bag per round trip to check in ski or sports equipment. ?10 per person per round trip to pay with cards except an Electron Card. Many sites had multiple problems.
The overall trends of problems within the sector are like misleading pricing has emerged as the biggest problem, found in 58% of the sites, irregularities related to contract terms were found in 49% of those sites (missing or wrong language version, and pre-checked boxes for optional services). Problems in which the advertised offers were missing appeared to be in 15% of the sites (europa. eu) This essay has looked into the matter of the role played by internet and the airline websites which help consumers to decide what they want as their option for a single service or a group of services.
Internet also provides a consumer a wide range of options as they can go through everything they want to and they want to know about. Consumers can give their personal details to the websites if they are sure that they will get the maximum from the airlines. Internet has been very successful in changing the demands of the consumers, by letting them research about what they want and the airline companies giving them an option to be dynamic. But, there are some problems too with the websites like hidden costs in them or the crashing of the websites.
Till now internet has mostly helped and will be always helping the aviation industry. References: europa. eu, 6/11/2009 eAirlines: strategic and tactical use of ICTs in the airline industry,buhalis,2004 E. Jorgensen, Southwest Airlines: Success Story, in www. novell. com, 8/11/2009 hotel-online. com, 8/11/2009 press. 1and1. co. uk, 7/11/2009 Twenty years on and 10 years after the Internet: The state of eTourism research, Dimitrios Buhalis Bournemouth University, Rob Law Hong Kong Polytechnic University,2008
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