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BizReport : Loyalty Marketing : March 20, 2014

Price ousts airline brand loyalty

A survey among online travel agent Wotif's newsletter subscribers reveals that airline loyalty is fickle and price is the most important factor when booking a flight.

by Helen Leggatt

Australia-based Wotif found, unsurprisingly, that Qantas remains the preferred airline for most Australian travelers. Almost 41% chose Qantas as their favorite airline followed by Emirates (15.8%) and Virgin (15.7%).

However, that loyalty isn't strong enough to prevent them shopping around and while the Australia-owned airline might be their preferred airline more than half (56%) said that loyalty would be challenged if the airline changed to foreign ownership.

When it comes to booking a flight, domestic or international, a preference for an airline is low on the list behind price, availability on travel dates and whether a direct flight is available.

"Unsurprisingly, price was the most important factor for travelers booking both domestic and international flights, with preferred airline being ranked least important for domestic travel but more important for international travel," said Helen Demetriou, Wotif Group executive general manager for flights and packages.

And what about flying with an unfamiliar airline? According to the survey, due to a lack of awareness of a brand's reputation, and safety and service concerns, three quarters (73%) of travelers admit they would not book a flight with an airline they had never heard of.

TK Kurikawa /

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: airline, loyalty, travel research

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