For a moment, put yourself in the shoes of a typical smartphone user who happens to be searching for a hotel room. What kind of information do you want or need in your search? Do you want to see images of the bed, dresser, or bathroom, or do you want to get a feel for the neighborhood and see nearby restaurants and attractions? Jusitn Steele, VP of Product at Switchfly shares the latest use of technology by the connected traveler.
Daniel Farrar, CEO of Switchfly, states that today, it’s no longer “travel on my airline, stay in my hotel, or buy my product” but “buy and be loyal to my brand.” And while there can be healthy competition between loyalty programs, that doesn’t mean travel brands can’t still work together to maximize their “piece” of the customer’s loyalty and the valuable data that comes with it. The travel industry can become a much more collaborative environment for loyalty with fewer programs working at cross-purposes and each brand maximizing its “piece” of the customer’s loyalty.
From Personalization to Next Generation Booking: Technology Trends Impacting Hotel Loyalty and The Guest Experience
Doug Gaccione, Executive Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing at Switchfly states that "As we look at how hotel brands are innovating today, we can already see where the industry is headed: more operators are optimizing their booking engines, apps and websites for each user and strengthening brand loyalty through more personalized guest experiences. By leveraging guests’ smartphones for more self-service, convenience and comfort, hotels can be much more proactive and forward-looking in preparing for their guests’ digital expectations."
Justin Steele, vice-president for product at travel commerce platform Switchfly, agrees that passengers have to be at the heart of the solution. Switchfly launched its own IROP Management solution in August 2017 to give stranded passengers hotel choices and give airlines access to deeply discounted rates. This hooks into airline departure control systems and back-end functionality. Business rules allow airlines to specify the service offers for their passengers. However, the true upside of the disruption situation for Steele is the opportunity to generate ancillary revenue.
Expect more third-party integration in the future, thanks to vendors building out solutions with API-based access native rather than bolted on top. Switchfly wants to help airlines handle hotel bookings during irregular operations via a similar app add-on, for example. The company demonstrated a proof of concept for that use case during the recent IATA World Passenger Symposium.
Travel commerce platform Switchfly becomes the latest travel technology company offering to help airlines solve costly Irregular Operations (IROP) incidents by making passenger re-accommodation faster and easier.
Douglas Gaccione, executive vice president, global growth and marketing at Switchfly says he sees some regions embracing change more readily than others, with a few willing to take risks on new digital technologies and others following quickly thereafter once the concept has proven successful.
Disrupting Travel Disruption: Can Switchfly’s IROP Solution Help Airlines Turn Crises Into Opportunity?
New flight cancellation solution from Switchfly helps airlines assist stranded passengers in need of re-accommodation
Low-cost carriers Southwest and JetBlue continue to offer US flyers the lowest average reward seat pricing, despite an industry shift to dollar-based rather than mileage-based loyalty points accrual.