Online airline bookings take off this school holidays

Australians are twice as likely to have booked their airfares for this school holiday period directly through an airline website than through a price comparison website, new research undertaken by the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has found.

TTF Chief Executive Margy Osmond said a nation-wide survey conducted by Nielsen on behalf of TTF has shown that despite the potential to nab a bargain via a price comparison website, travellers prefer to deal directly with airlines when making a booking.

“Our research has shown that 49 per cent of Australian travellers prefer to book their domestic flights directly via an airline website, while only 23 per cent are looking to make a booking through one of the many price comparison websites that have popped up in recent years,” Ms Osmond said.

“This shows that for the tens of thousands of Australians who have booked a flight over this school holidays our airlines are brands that people trust for convenience and affordability.

“Our research has also shown that the overwhelming majority of Aussie travellers are now booking their flights online, with 82 per cent of respondents indicting they book their domestic flights online and 72 per cent favouring online for international flights – either directly with the airline (49 percent domestic/38 per cent international), through an online comparison website (23/22 per cent), or via a travel agency website (10/12 per cent).

“There is still an appetite for people to make a booking in store at a travel agency, with 10 per cent of respondents saying they prefer to book their domestic flights in person and 17 per cent favouring this method for international flights.

“No matter which way travellers choose to book their holiday, they truly are spoiled for choice and are taking full advantage with record numbers of Australians travelling in the past 12 months.”

Ms Osmond said price is still the overwhelming factor people take into consideration when choosing an airline to fly with.

“When asked about the three main factors in determining how to choose an airline when travelling for a holiday, the number one consideration for people is their hip pocket, with 78 per cent of people saying they will shop around different airlines to find the cheapest fare,” Ms Osmond said.

“This was followed by an airline’s safety record (43 per cent), the schedule (37 per cent) and customer service inclusions such as food and baggage (32 per cent).”