Travel preferences for millennials versus non-millennials

Teresa Cederholm - Author

Sep. 5 2014, Updated 1:00 p.m. ET

Travel preferences

In this part f the series, we’ll summarize the Boston Consulting Group’s (or BCG) findings. The BCG researched the millennial generation’s travel preferences in the business and leisure segment. This will provide a better understanding of how social and demographic factors influence air travel. It will also show how the factors influence company strategies to adopt to the changing trends.

According to the report, millennials spend 13% more than non-millennials per airline ticket. This is on average for business travel.

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  • They’re 60% more likely to upgrade for seats with extra leg room and head room.
  • They’re more willing to pay for amenities such as Wi-Fi and in-flight entertainment. They buy more refundable tickets. They also buy more tickets that can’t be upgraded. They tend to make more itinerary changes per trip than non-millennials.
  • They’re more interested in discounts, airline packages, and low-cost carriers like JetBlue (JBLU) and Southwest (LUV).
  • They’re more likely to book tickets through online travel agencies. They’re also more likely to use the mobile and travel applications of traditional carriers like Delta (DAL), United (UAL), and American (AAL).

Knowledge of different groups’ travel preferences can help companies plan their target segments. It allows them to study which segment can bring higher returns on investment and increase profitability. It allows them to determine and plan future service improvements. The companies are able to satisfy growing consumer expectations in the long term.


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