Has Lufthansa gone mad? Penalising customers is the wrong way
Think about this for a minute. How many travel apps does the consumer really want on their mobile phone? One.
Look at your own phone, how many weather apps do you have? How many email apps? How many calendar apps? The answer is one.
And that’s the crux of it: consumers want to use their preferred travel app or website to shop for travel products.
They don’t want to go to lufthansa.com to book their flight, then Marriott.com to book their hotel, then somewhere else to book something else.
Why have meta search engines such as Skyscanner taken off like a rocket? Because they deliver the convenience and user experience that the consumer craves.
And, you can bet your bottom dollar that as Skyscanner and its pals start to integrate booking flows into their sites, referrals to supplier sites are going to drop off a cliff – because the user experience of getting the job done entirely on the consumer’s site of choice is going to win, every time.
But, back to Lufthansa. It’s not the only one stuck in this “silly phase” of trying to coerce customers to book direct with them by penalising them if they book elsewhere.
We also have Marriott trying it on by offering free wifi only to customers booking direct with it.
But whenever I stay in a Marriott, I now just use the personal hotspot feature of my phone.
Hence it’s not winning – in fact, it’s losing, because my user experience when staying at Marriott sucks when compared to Hilton, or Holiday Inn, or any of the gazillion other hotels that offer free wifi, because it’s an added annoyance to my stay that I have to faff around with the hotspot.
Is it going to make me book direct with Marriott? Of course not. Because it’s far more inconvenient to break away from my preferred app than it is to sort out the hotspot.