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Young travelers prefer messaging when booking post-pandemic travel

Young travelers prefer messaging when booking post-pandemic travel
Young travelers prefer messaging when booking post-pandemic travel
Written by Harry Johnson

Messaging options — including SMS, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, and brand websites and apps — are viewed as a convenient, preferred method for travelers to engage with their favorite travel brands.

  • 66% would like to have their airline, hotel, or travel company in their phone contacts, jumping to 81% among those 18 to 23
  • 58% would like to have a direct line to their airline, hotel, or travel company on social media, with those 18 to 23 landing at 68%
  • 66% would like the option to message when they go to their airline, hotel, or travel company’s website, reaching 76% among those 18 to 23

A survey of 2,000 Americans found that nearly three-fourths of consumers (73%) prefer messaging to calls when making airline, hotel, or other travel-related reservations. Among 18- to 23-year-olds, the number reaches a whopping 90%. According to the April 2021 survey, messaging options — including SMS, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, and brand websites and apps — are viewed as a convenient, preferred method for travelers to engage with their favorite travel brands. 

Nearly as many (71%) are comfortable having their airline, hotel, or travel company reach out and text them directly, especially if deals or upgrades are on offer. This number increases to 80% among 18- to 23-year-olds, underscoring an advantage for brands that offer messaging to this coveted demographic and deliver on the type of services that will help future-proof the travel industry. Additional findings from the survey include:

  • 66% would like to have their airline, hotel, or travel company in their phone contacts, jumping to 81% among those 18 to 23
  • 58% would like to have a direct line to their airline, hotel, or travel company on social media, with those 18 to 23 landing at 68%
  • 66% would like the option to message when they go to their airline, hotel, or travel company’s website, reaching 76% among those 18 to 23

Delta is leading the way in messaging experiences for travelers by empowering them to begin conversations with Delta directly from Apple Business Chat, SMS, the Fly Delta app, IVR deflection, and even QR codes within airports. These conversations allow customers to engage with the airline quickly and easily. Delta also uses the power of conversational AI to support its agents and help more customers faster than ever, as well as its in-message payment capabilities to help customers book travel and make purchases without ever leaving the conversation.

Delta held 2.45 million conversations on Conversational Cloud in 2020, with 925,000 conversations assisted by AI. Of those AI-orchestrated conversations, 37% were fully handled by a blend of brand-built bots and conversational AI. Customer satisfaction scores for these experiences were extremely high (92 CSAT). Delta also plans to use the Conversational Cloud to engage with customers over Facebook Messenger and Twitter DMs.

With 90% of young Americans reporting they prefer to message with travel companies, it’s clear that the future of travel will be dominated by brands that adopt and scale messaging experiences for sales, marketing, and customer care.