MIAMI – There is perhaps no other demographic that has influenced the travel business and economy more than Millennials. Expert statistics show that Generation Y members between the age of 23-38 are the population group that travels most frequently.
With decent salaries and less commitments than boomers and Gen Xers, Millennials take flight multiple times a year, setting out to explore exciting new locations that are, of course, Instagram photo worthy. 7
You may be noticing small changes in your flight experience, and chances are you have Millennials to thank for it. Let’s take a look at how many airlines around the world are going the extra mile to appeal to their younger client base.
Greater Connectivity Than Ever before
Millennials are looking for ways to stay connected in the air and, most of the time, that requires Wi-Fi. Only 43% of airline networks had in-flight Wifi in 2018, with more looking to include the feature. WI-FI keeps business people connected to their emails and contacts. It can also help to relieve the monotony of long haul journeys, giving passengers limitless access to films and games.
With hours to spare, online gaming has a particular appeal here. There’s a wide range of variations of poker available online, so players can learn new games or practice the ones they already know, all at a much faster pace than live events in Vegas. Games like online chess provide users with the opportunity to play with people from all around the world.
Having access to an almost limitless range of entertainment options really takes the edge of flights. Consequently, more and more airlines are stepping up and making in-flight Wi-Fi the top of their priority list.
Live In-flight Entertainment
Gone are the days when the best in-flight entertainment options were a wide variety of films and series selections. Now, some airlines are stepping up their offers with live concerts from famous bands and singers.
If it seems too good to be true, you may want to book your next flight with Southwest Airlines (WN). Their new, hip initiative, “Live at 35 Southwest” is attracting customers with the opportunity to see a live in-flight show featuring notable names like Imagine Dragons, Gavin DeGraw, and the Plain White T’s. The trend has also set sail in Indonesia, with the nations leading airline, Garuda Indonesia, attempting to woo Millennials with surprise live acoustic performances on select flights.
Whether the idea of being awoken by a singing, guitar strumming Dan Reynolds frustrates or delights you, there’s no denying that airlines are upgrading their in-flight entertainment services.
Food and Beverage Upgrades
Another huge way that many airlines are aiming to be more attractive to Generation Y, is with a more tantalizing in-flight food and beverage service. Leading companies in the industry, such as Delta and United, have hopped aboard the trend, offering more variety and diversity in their meals.
Clients of business-class Delta can enjoy regionally sourced cuisine in places like Asia, for example. United has also added more food and drink options to entice Millennials, such as organic and cruelty-free items. Even local breweries are partnering with airlines to bring customers craft beer options.
What was once a boring old in-flight menu is now an exciting café-style restaurant experience. Although some airlines, such as AirFrance’s Millennial experience “Joon”, have not been successful with these special initiatives in the long run, many are still pushing forward to create new and exciting culinary journeys for their customers.
As you can see, enormous changes and upgrades are being implemented into today’s current flight journey. If you find yourself on one of these exciting trajectories, you may have a Millennial to thank for their influence. One thing is for certain: because younger generations continue to grow more and more powerful as well as tech-savvy, the future of flying will stay steadily evolving.
Featured image: Bernie Leighton Aaron Willis Tilburg from the Netherlands share a meal and stories on board the flight. Photo: Airways Staff