Passenger Terminal Expo 2024: Navigating the Trends of Today’s Traveller

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April 23, 2024

The CAVU team recently attended the Passenger Terminal Expo 2024 in Frankfurt to discuss The Global Travel Marketplace and how it could unlock value from the airport passenger journey. 

The CAVU team was thrilled to attend the Passenger Terminal Expo in Frankfurt last week where we got the opportunity to chat with attendees about The Global Travel Marketplace and how it could unlock value from the airport passenger journey for them.  

With transforming the passenger experience a central theme of numerous conference talks and a key discussion point for many exhibitors, we explored the pain points facing today’s traveller and the challenges for the industry in meeting these redefined expectations. Originally featured in Passenger Terminal World magazine, we delve into the underlying passenger trends facing the travel booking process. 


Redefined Expectations   

In today’s rapidly evolving consumer landscape, the travel industry faces the challenge of staying ahead of emerging trends and meeting evolving customer expectations. From the demand for a more streamlined booking process to the growing preference for digital innovations, the industry must anticipate and adapt to these shifts.  

Whether it’s pre-ordering and collecting loyalty points with your morning coffee or rectifying a problem with your latest online purchase, today’s consumers not only expect, but demand, a seamless digital experience as part of their purchase journeys. However, in its current reality, the travel booking experience falls short of meeting these expectations, remaining a fragmented and frustrating experience. In fact, 40% of travellers cite “disconnected experiences” as their top pain point (Salesforce, 2023). The result is juggling multiple websites, answering repetitive questions, and being bombarded with irrelevant offers – all hurdles in creating a positive and intuitive customer journey.  



Travel Booking is Fragmented  

This isn’t just anecdotal. Studies show travellers can browse up to 38 websites before making a purchase (Expedia, 2013). Furthermore, 88% of travellers wouldn’t hesitate to switch platforms if the experience isn’t convenient and easy (Google, 2016). This fragmented process translates to lost revenue and dissatisfied customers – a scenario the industry can ill afford. Travelers crave transparency, flexibility and control throughout their journey – something the current landscape struggles to deliver.  

Travellers are no longer looking to simply ‘tolerate’ travel but are instead seeking to enrich it. The airport itself is no longer just a transit point, with 40% of travellers describing the airport as an enjoyable part of their holiday (British Airways, 2023). For business flyers especially, creating a comfortable and enriching pre-flight experience is a fundamental requirement, with nearly two-thirds counting access to the likes of premium airport lounges as being “important” or “very important” (AviationPros, 2017).  

It’s not just luxury lounges that pique the interest. “Luxe-for-less seekers” are on the rise, with 10% of UK travellers planning to upgrade their flights and 14% seeking airport lounge access in 2024 (Skyscanner, 2024). This underscores a shift in value perception as travellers look for premium experiences without breaking the bank.   

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Connecting the Disconnected 

An elevated experience comes as much from luxury add-ons as it does from offering a more customer centric experience. This means moving beyond generic offerings and embracing deep personalisation. Imagine priority access based on past travel behaviour, curated recommendations tailored to specific interests, or exclusive lounge experiences designed to match individual needs.   

By leveraging data insights and technology to create more personalised experiences, the impact is not solely in building improved customer satisfaction. Personalisation translates into greater business effectiveness, with 80% of consumers more likely to purchase from a brand that offers personalised experiences (Epsilon, 2018). As CAVU’s Digital Product Director, Joel Godfrey, explains: “A well designed, clean and frictionless customer experience benefits everyone – if customers can find what they’re looking for and checkout easily, they get what they came to us for, and we make the sale – it’s a win, win.” When fully realised, it can see improvements in marketing effectiveness cost savings by 10% to 20% while revenue and retention can see an uplift of up to 30% (McKinsey, 2023) 

The travel industry stands at a crossroads, with consumers expecting and demanding more from an industry that has long been fragmented and full of friction. At CAVU, we connect the disconnected, elevating travel experiences for customers and unlocking value from the airport passenger journey for the businesses that serve them. By embracing innovation and prioritising customer-centricity, we can all be part of shaping a brighter future for travel.