UK Airline Customers Increasingly Prefer Digital Customer Services

Digital channels have become the average airline customer’s preferred means of dealing with customer service. In a survey of over 4,800 travellers, email channels and app-based services were among the top ways travellers preferred to deal with airline concerns.

And it isn’t just the younger demographics who use digital services, as most people have started leaning toward tech-based services in the past four years. 70% of those surveyed even noted that their airline interactions have changed since 2020. With a distinct shift in customer preferences, airlines must adjust accordingly to match the digital demand.

The digitalisation of UK airlines

In the United Kingdom, airlines are vamping up their digital channels to meet the demands of modern consumers. Bookings and customer support are primarily directed to online platforms, with emails, mobile apps, social media, and websites providing various avenues for users. The leading portal for most is still the website, which allows people to access dedicated services exclusive to the brand linked to other platforms.

Websites also encourage travel by capitalising on the modern desire for simplicity. People ache for adventure but don’t want the hassle of figuring out all the aspects of the trip beforehand. Data from Somo even shows that 77% of British travellers are willing to pay more if the online booking process is more straightforward. This is why point-to-point airlines also offer low-price flight and hotel packages. It makes the whole process smoother and gets more out of every pound.

easyJet is particularly known for its cheap flight tickets, with a focus on its Fare Finder feature. This allows users to input the point of departure and the destination of choice, with the system automatically filtering various flights to prioritise the most affordable legitimate options. The Fare Finder can be accessed globally, so users don’t need a VPN to compare flight prices for different destinations.

This feature leans toward the trend of catering to airline customers who want value for their money while seeking more convenient ways to find such deals. On top of that, flyers can look at timetables of flights that can inform their route, with built-in guides that allow users to input location, time, trips, budget, and popular activities like family-friendly events, music festivals, solo adventures, and the like.

The modern traveller and technology

Most people accept that tech is a massive part of life, influencing customer mindset and culture, which is something carriers should consider. People between 18 and 87 spend about 8.6 hours a day using technology. As such, members of the older and younger demographic have a more excellent grasp of digital channels. These habits come with renewed expectations of the services they can receive on said channels and the speed at which these services are delivered.

Case in point, much of the preference for digital channels comes from the simple fact that people are much less patient now. Research on British holidaymakers has found that it only takes a flight delay of 64 minutes to upset most travellers. The same data has revealed that 84% of people would be more understanding if airlines were more transparent with issues causing delays.

Ryanair’s TikTok persona acknowledges and works with this mental shift to great success. The budget airline adopted a very cheeky brand voice on social media, garnering much attention and gaining a lot of goodwill with netizens. Their approach even influenced public perception, almost washing over some complaints floating through the internet.

Using humour or taking on a positive tone is ideal for airlines connecting with travellers online to diffuse tension, as most people seek out tech-based resources that allow them to get their issues addressed as quickly as possible. At the very least, social media and live chats should provide the comfort of communication and potential solutions that holidaymakers are seeking. With the new attitudes that dictate UK airline customers today, airline carriers must adapt to move forward.