Millennial travelers have (almost) conquered the travel industry, and businesses such as travel agencies, hotels, and airlines are jazzing up their marketing gimmicks. How? They’re using unconventional methods to charm the young, aspiring and exploratory globetrotters who crave “experiential traveling”.
The Generation Y cohort travels for three main reasons: leisure, business and a combination of both that is bleisure for international and domestic trips. ADARA, a travel data agency, reveals that 67% of all American Millennials are enthusiastic travelers who prioritize travel above other expenses, but they’re savvy bargainers who want to taste luxury even on a budget.
The global Millennial population outnumbers Baby Boomers thus travel companies are upgrading their businesses with advanced technology, meaningful experiences, and entertaining marketing techniques.
While hotels are rebranding to attract millennials, airlines are revitalizing their in-flight marketing efforts to appeal to these young tourists. Did you know Southwest Airlines invites music bands to sing live for passengers during the flight? Airlines around the world are taking air traveling to a different level. Among these are Norwegian Air, Icelandair, Virgin America, JetBlue Airways, and SouthWest Airlines etc.
Check out who’s doing what in the airline biz for millennials.
Did you know these Airline Travel Industry insights?
According to Skift, the global air travel demand has grown at a rate of 5.5% in 10 years.
On the other hand, in Europe, travel activities and tours account for approximately 35 billion Euro. Whenever there’s demand, there’s opportunity as well as competition. In this vibrant environment, several airlines are constantly deriving creative strategies to entice their current target market, which is the Millennials.
What Millennials Want?
Before developing plans to market these explorers, it’s imperative to know about Gen Y preferences. What do they like and what impressed them. As an airline, willing to address the needs of Millennials, you must do market research.
The Internet is a necessity these days to remain connected with the world. Free Wi-Fi is the birthright of Millennials (no kidding). They need to be online to share the details about their travel experiences with their friends and followers on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.
Moreover, individuals with jobs and startups need the web for their work.
The Wi-Fi facility is not new, in fact, Jet Blue Airbus 321 and a number of its A320 aircraft offers Fly-Fi – a service with 15Mbps internet speed.
Domestic flights in the United States, charge between $5 and $50 for the Wi-Fi service. According to Stay Planner, 60% pay for in-flight WiFi. To stand out among the rest, you could provide *free Wi-Fi to travelers and adjust the cost in something else. Make sure the bandwidth is fast enough to stream videos.
Experience matters over material things. Unlike Baby Boomers who wanted souvenirs or takeaways, Millennials want uh-mazing services and beyond the usual stuff. The best thing is to give them “magic moments”, as the HubSpot Academy says.
For example, among the other marketing stunts Southwest does, the pilot takes selfies, before takeoffs, with passengers. To see images, follow him on @captainselfie1 on Instagram. Millennials use this social media platform to convey visual stories. In fact, as you saw in the video Norwegian Airlines posted emoji URL on this website to engage its market.
As an airline, you can too share in-flight photographs on social sites such as Snapchat and Pinterest. This is a great way to gather passenger testimonials, showing existing customers they matter and attracting potential travelers.
In-flight entertainment is a requirement, obviously. Airlines already offer a set of videos and music to choose from, although it is not live streaming. Pre-loaded television programs and movies are overrated.
Think different like Apple. Catch up with the latest tech trends to deliver awesomeness. Many travel companies are tapping into Virtual Reality to awe-inspire flyers.
Millennials are foodies! They’re adventurous enough to try new things and ideas related to food. You should also note that Generation Y is leaned towards local experiences. It would be a smart idea to provide a sneak peak to them of the place they are traveling. For example, if the flight were heading towards China then Dim-Sum would be a nice item on the menu, and present it with chopsticks.
Another thing is that Millennials are active sharers. They want perfect photo shots to flaunt online and garner likes plus comments. Taste is important but presentation is key, you can ask Gordon Ramsay. Make “Instagrammable” food/meals.
These days, the combination of liquid nitrogen and food is trending. Your airline could offer special flavored frozen ice creams and deserts to add the X-factor in your in-flight marketing.
Flight View surveyed 1,500 travelers, who use wearable tech gadgets. In Convenience & Choice: What Travelers Want Most (And Are Willing to Pay For) Throughout Their Journey, they’ve shared that 90% of the participants value those airports, airlines and other travel companies that send information to their devices on the travel day.
The kind of information they’re interested in receiving includes:
You need to become the key resource for information and data for your customers, especially Millennials who crave visual data. Design apps that assist travelers when they’re boarding and when during the flight. For example, SKYZEN mobile app helps travelers monitor health, such as sleeping patterns to minimize jet lag.
So what bait do you have for Generation Y?