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Switchfly Press Release

Switchfly Survey: Travel Loyalty and Technology Platform Discovers that Travelers Select In-Room Wi-Fi as Number One Travel Ancillary

Americans also care about ground transportation and airport shuttles and think loyalty points are key to booking travel

SAN FRANCISCO—August 10, 2016Switchfly, Inc., the technology company powering travel search/booking, loyalty program engagement and ancillary merchandising solutions for the world's most celebrated airlines, hotels, online travel agencies and financial services companies, today announced the results of Forrester’s Q2 Online Benchmark Recontact Omnibus Survey, fielded on behalf of Switchfly Inc., which examined the behaviors of American travelers and their thoughts on hotel and airline ancillary selections. The national survey was fielded to 9,996 US Online Adults (18+, online weekly or more) in June 2016.

Email Is a Must
When it comes to what travelers pay for to make their trips more comfortable, in-room Wi-Fi is at the top of the leader board, with almost one in five US Online Adults revealing that they’ve made this purchase in the last 12 months (18 percent). This is followed by:
  • Ground transportation—14 percent
  • Airport shuttle—13 percent
  • Extra bags—12 percent
  • Upgraded seating—10 percent
  • Priority boarding, in-flight Wi-Fi and in-flight media—9 percent each
  • In-room services (e.g., mini-bar or massages)—8 percent

While airport shuttles were the third most popular ancillary, it’s also the service Online Adults are most unaware of, with 23 percent admitting they’ve never heard of this service. This is followed by in-room services (20 percent), in-flight Wi-Fi (19 percent), priority boarding, ground transportation, in-flight media and extra bags (18 percent each), upgraded seating (17 percent) and in-room Wi-Fi (16 percent).

In-Flight Entertainment More Important Than a Mini-Bar
When asked which ancillary service they’ve heard of but have no intention of purchasing, more than half of US Online Adults selected in-room services (54 percent).
 
What else don’t travelers want?
  • Priority boarding—53 percent
  • Extra bags—51 percent
  • Upgraded seating, in-flight Wi-Fi and in-flight media—50 percent
  • Ground transportation—44 percent
  • Airport shuttle—43 percent
  • In-room Wi-Fi—40 percent

“We’ve found that travelers want their ancillary services on their own terms, and they want to be able to pick and choose the services they do and don’t want, like in-room Wi-Fi or ground transportation,” said Daniel Farrar, CEO of Switchfly. “This survey helps us recognize what Americans are really looking for. At Switchfly, we work with our clients to make ancillary purchases as quick and convenient as possible for their customers, giving them what they want, when they want it.”

Flexibility Is Key
The survey also asked US Online Adults about the importance of being able to use loyalty points to purchase ancillary services, and almost half (44 percent) of the respondents agreed (Agree is a 4 or 5 on a 1=disagree to 5=agree scale) that it’s important to them, while 24 percent disagreed that it is important to them (Disagree is a 1 or 2 on a 1=disagree to 5=agree scale). Additionally, the survey discovered that 36 percent of respondents agree that being able to purchase ancillaries from any device was important to them (Agree is a 4 or 5 on a 1=disagree to 5=agree scale).
 
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About Switchfly
Switchfly, Inc., is a global technology company that powers travel commerce, loyalty program engagement and ancillary merchandising solutions for some of the world's most recognizable brands. Leading airlines, hotels, online travel agencies and financial service providers depend on Switchfly to power their omni-channel travel experiences because it uniquely combines a highly scalable and secure architecture with deep product and content inventory. Powerful analytics and real-time decision engines foster contextually-rich customer engagement and enable brands to offer a wide range of customized travel services to their customers. Headquartered in San Francisco, Switchfly generates more than $2 billion in revenue for its clients annually and facilitates the redemption of more than 40 billion reward points and miles each year. The company's global client roster includes American Airlines, JetBlue and LAN Airlines; IAG Avios, Lufthansa Miles & More and United MileagePlus; InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International and Starwood Hotels and Resorts; and Groupon and Living Social. For more information, visit www.switchfly.com.
 
Media Contact:
Gaby Perez-Silva
(714) 369-2920
Gaby@Bospar.com