Booking Strategy Miscellany

What’s Your Travel Persona?

What’s your travel persona? Are you a careful planner or perhaps an open-minded adventurer?

SITA, a technology solutions company for the air industry, recently released a report analyzing U.S. passenger behaviors with technology in regard to the flying process. It identified four different types of travelers: the careful planner, independent and hyper connected, pampered, and the open-minded adventurer.

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By identifying passenger behaviors, the company hopes to develop useful designs in technology to improve travelers’ overall flying experiences. The findings are based on a survey given to 1,411 passengers who traveled through 46 international airports between December 2014 and March 2015.

The survey asked passengers to rate different stages of their journey on a scale of happiness, excitement, anger, or anxiety. The results are pretty interesting, but not surprising, as Americans tend to be pretty predictable …

U.S. Travelers’ Personalities

  • The Careful Planner: 58 percent of Americans resonate with this type of personality, with traits that include double-checking preparations, printing out documents, and having verbal confirmation about plans.
  • Independent and Hyper Connected: 18 percent of Americans prefer efficiency and are more impatient.
  • Pampered: 13 percent of U.S. travelers can afford a higher standard of service and prefer lounges, loyalty programs, and other extra amenities.
  • Open-Minded Adventurer: 12 percent of Americans are traveling more for the experience and are open to new services.
  • While we all wish we were open-minded adventurers, most of us fit the practical, careful planner persona like the rest of the country.

    Technology During the Flying Process

    Overall, 81 percent of U.S. passengers felt positive emotions during their travel journey, with the most positive experiences during booking, down time, and while on board. The most negative emotions were felt during security screening, passport check, and bag collection (who actually likes dealing with ambiguous wait times?). We were actually surprised by the overall positivity in this process (see graph below; note purple represents negative emotions, green represents positive emotions, the dashed line represents global average).

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    In analyzing the different parts of a traveler’s journey, the survey found more positive experiences were had when technology was involved. Only 5 percent of U.S. travelers booked their last flight using human interaction (the most positive rated experience of the whole process), and 65 percent used technology to check-in.

    Mobile technology is a major tool for U.S. travelers, as 29 percent of passengers booked a flight with a mobile phone; this number is expected to increase in 2016 to 38 percent.

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    Based on these behavioral trends, SITA suggests the need for mobile services targeting flight status updates and alerts, wait times for baggage collection, security line wait times, and destination services for onward travel. Because who wouldn’t love being able to track your bag on your phone?

    We want to know … what kind of traveler to you consider yourself to be?

    More from SmarterTravel:

    Ashley Rossi is definitely an open-minded adventurer. Follow her on Twitter @ashley_stravel for more advice about travel hacks and destination ideas.

    (Photos: SITA 2015)

    By Ashley Rossi

    Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.

    After interning at SmarterTravel, Ashley joined the team full time in 2015. She's lived on three continents, but still never knows where her next adventure will take her. She's always searching for upcoming destination hotspots, secluded retreats, and hidden gems to share with the world.

    Ashley's stories have been featured online on USA Today, Business Insider, TripAdvisor, Huffington Post, Jetsetter, and Yahoo! Travel, as well as other publications.

    The Handy Item I Always Pack: "A reusable filtered water bottle—it saves you money, keeps you hydrated, and eliminates waste—win-win."

    Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "A week in a bamboo beach hut on India's Andaman Islands."

    Travel Motto: "Travel light, often, and in good company."

    Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Window—best view in the house."

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