As we're sure most travel businesses would agree that once the customer has committed to the booking process, the time is nigh to bring ancillary services and products to their attention. It's important for those in the industry to perfect the art of the cross-sell and upsell. After all, not only will playing your cards effectively in this area allow you to construct better packages for your customers, it will also help drive incremental revenue on each booking. Essentially, everyone's a winner.


In order to get your cross-selling and upselling right, it's important to stay on top of what it is your customers want. Seems a little obvious perhaps, but it's surprising just how many organisations forget to back up their actions with cold, hard facts such as which ancillary services and products prove the most popular amongst consumers. Pinpointing exactly what travellers want to spend their cash on is half the battle. The other half is making sure you're the one that makes the offer.

A recent study, conducted by Sabre, looked into this very issue by questioning 1,500 airline passengers from 20 different countries on which additional services and products they would be content to splurge on. Interestingly, it appears as though the elements considered most essential for a trip differs from region to region.

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The most popular ancillary product globally proved to be preferred seating, including the option for extra leg room. This was followed by on-board food and drinks; in-flight Wi-Fi; and fast track security seating. However, despite the fact that both passengers in North America and passengers in Europe opted for preferred seating as their top choice of ancillary and included on-board food and drink in their top four choices, they would be more likely to spend their money on a cabin class upgrade rather than in-flight Wi-Fi - a service which didn't come close to the top.

Both these groups of passengers also seem to dislike long waits. Passengers in North America rated fast track security screening as their second choice of ancillary service whilst passengers in Europe chose priority check-in as their fourth choice.

The research further revealed that passengers in Africa were the biggest spenders on ancillary services, averaging out at around $95 (approx. £77) per trip. However, they would be willing to spend a significant amount more at $144 (£117).

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In fact, passengers from all regions said they would be willing to spend more with those in Europe who averaged out at a current spend of $55 (£45) stating they would spend $82 (£67).

Looks like there is a lot of extra money to be made from those add-on extras. Unlocking the desires and preferences of your customers will help you to offer the right products at the right time, giving them what they want, when they want it.

Travel technology can also help you improve your customer experience no end. Contact us to find out what we can do for you.