Offering miles for in-flight purchases seems like more obvious incentive than one-tap credit card transactions for airlines hoping to sell more event tickets and travel deals to travelers halfway to their destinations.
US Airways is looking into new ways to sell goods and services to passengers for use on the plane and at the passengers’ final destinations.
Under a renewed contract with the Tempe, Ariz., airline, Toronto technology firm GuestLogix announced last week that it will provide US Airways flight attendants with hand-held devices they can use to charge a passenger’s credit card by simply tapping the card on the device.
GuestLogix is also working with US Airways to advertise deals and offers to passengers through emails, onboard announcements and brochures stuffed in seat-back pockets.
The goal is to get travelers to funnel a bigger share of their travel spending through the airlines, said Patrick O’Neil, senior vice president and general manager for GuestLogix USA.
“The airlines have an advantage because they know where we are going,” he said.
For example, passengers flying on US Airways to Las Vegas might get offers to buy tickets to shows or sporting events in Vegas, O’Neil said. “We want to make the offers relative to the travelers and the cities they are going to,” he said.
Passengers should begin to see the offers on US Airways flights in the first half of next year, O’Neil said.
The world’s largest airlines reported collecting $22.6 billion in extra passenger fees in 2011. That was a 5% increase from the previous year, according to a study by Wisconsin-based IdeaWorksCompany, a consultant on airline revenues, and Amadeus, a travel technology firm based in Madrid.
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