Jan 15, 2018

Travelers’ 4 Biggest Anxieties That Can Hurt Your Bookings

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Planning a trip should be fun and exciting, but for some U.S. travelers, buying flights or booking travel can be stressful and worrisome. What if they can’t make the trip because of an illness or work obligation, or their flight gets cancelled or is delayed by weather?

The travel industry suffers from an 81% average rate of abandoned carts, compared to just 68% across other online retail, according to Econsultancy. For online travel agencies (OTAs), the average abandonment climbs up to 89%, while hotel, cruise and car rental sites are closer to 70%.1

When designing the booking experience for customers, whether online or through an agency, it’s useful to know what causes the most anxiety. These factors could potentially cause them to delay booking flights or skip their trip entirely. Leveraging our partnerships with many of the largest U.S. airlines, we surveyed over 20,000 customers who purchased our travel protection about their top travel concern, covering both international and domestic trips.

What we discovered is that three out of four insured customers said they agreed that purchasing travel insurance eliminated their concerns when booking flights. Additionally, about four out of five insured customers said they are likely or very likely to purchase trip protection in the future.2 Let’s examine their four biggest anxieties, as well as what our common travel insurance benefits can do to protect insured customers.

1. Missing Trip Due to Sickness

The worst fear for Americans when planning a domestic or international trip is that they’ll get sick at the last minute, and the trip has to be cancelled or rescheduled.  This is especially true for older travelers, though it ranked as the highest issue among all generations. Customers are also concerned that a family member might get sick and they’d have to cancel the trip to care for them.

Available Travel Insurance Benefits: Trip Cancellation reimbursement for unforeseeable covered reasons

2. Travel Delay or Cancellation

The second biggest concern pertains to travel delays and issues while traveling. The USDOT reported an average of 17-24% of domestic flights didn’t arrive on time in 2017, and a New York Times article indicates that figure is probably significantly higher.3 While travelers say that flight cancellations or delays by the airline causes the greatest anxiety, that’s followed by concerns (in order of ranking) about weather issues affecting travel, missing a connection, or the airline overbooking the flight. For Millennials, their most common fear is that an airline will cancel or delay their flights.

Available Benefits: Travel Delay reimbursement (covered delays over 6 hours), airline change fees, and missed connection

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3. Lost, Damaged or Delayed Baggage

If bags go missing before a business meeting or expensive gear gets stolen anytime during a trip, it can cause angst that may quickly sour the travel experience. Ranking as a higher concern individually than missed connections or overbooked flights, the risk of damaged, delayed or lost bags causes some anxiety among travelers, but even more so on international trips.

Available Benefits: Baggage Protection reimbursement for lost, damaged or stolen bags and personal belongings, and reimbursement for essential items on bags delayed for over 24 hours

4. Health Problems or Emergencies during Trip

For many international travelers as well as Baby Boomers, getting sick or having a medical emergency while traveling is a significant concern. It’s particularly worrisome for trips abroad, where foreign languages make it more difficult for Americans to find and obtain medical treatment. The vast majority of U.S. health care plans don’t cover customers’ medical expenses outside the country. This is the second largest concern for customers traveling abroad, after trip cancellation.

Available Benefits: Emergency Medical and Dental, Emergency Medical Transportation or Evacuation (benefits and limits vary widely by plan), and Trip Interruption reimbursement in case of a covered illness or injury, plus a 24/7 Global Assistance hotline

Domestic vs. International Concerns

Overall, more international travelers are concerned than domestic travelers about getting sick abroad, missing a connecting flight, bags getting lost or damaged, or worrying about their personal safety. By generation, 70% of Millennials are most concerned about issues happening while traveling, such as flight delays and baggage issues, but the older the customer, the more concerned they are about pre-trip illnesses preventing them from traveling, as reported by nearly 60% of Boomers.4

Based on these insights, we know that travelers’ biggest concerns when booking flights can be eliminated in three out of four cases by offering travel insurance. When customers were asked to name the biggest influence on their decision to purchase travel insurance, domestic travelers cited the possibility of having to cancel their trip, while international travelers said it gave them peace of mind.

And at the end of the day, isn’t that the best thing you can give your customers?

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Terms, conditions and exclusions apply.
Insurance benefits underwritten by BCS Insurance Company or Jefferson Insurance Company, depending on your state of residence.  Plan(s) only available to U.S. residents and may not be available in all jurisdictions. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are brands of AGA Service Company.  AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of these plans and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company. Non-insurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company. Consumer may be responsible for charges incurred from outside vendors for assistance or concierge services. Contact AGA Service Company at 800-284-8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233 or customerservice@allianzassistance.com.

Citations:

1. “The Habits of Travel Bookers: Shopping Cart Abandonment,” Skift report, 2015
2. Allianz proprietary research, August 2017
3. “Those On-Time Flight Numbers? They’re Expected to Decline Next Year,” The New York Times, Sept. 2017
4. Allianz proprietary research, August 2017

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