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Sabre: Europeans Spend Longer Searching for Flights than Flying

Today’s travelers spend an average of 3.5 hours finding the perfect flight – often longer than the flight itself – according to a consumer poll conducted by global travel technology company Sabre Corporation.

The results highlight the incredible array of flight options available to travelers today, and the potential dilemma of finding the right fare at the right price.

As the colder season approaches, more than 43 percent of Western Europeans are expected to take a continental city break or escape to warmer places. However, these travelers are spending an average of 3.5 hours to find their perfect flight. Of those planning a Christmas shopping trip across the Pond, almost one in ten will spend more than seven hours searching for their flight – almost as long as the journey from London to New York.

Advancements in data insights can help airlines cut through the clutter by offering travelers very specific and bespoke options based on their individual needs.  “This level of personalization is the ‘holy grail’ for the travel industry, and Sabre is heavily investing in helping to make it a reality,” said Roshan Mendis, senior vice president EMEA at Sabre.

Sabre surveyed 2,200 consumers from Western Europe (UK, Germany, Spain and Italy) and found that 25-34-year-olds spent the longest amount of time finding the right flights – 4 hours and 9 minutes. Travelers over 55 spent the least amount of time at just 3 hours and 45 minutes.  Of the four nations, Italian travelers spent the most time finding their perfect flights (4 hours and 8 minutes), while Spanish travelers took just 2 hours and 47 minutes.  Italian women aged 25-34 took the most time of all groups at 6 hours – almost as long as a flight from Milan to Dubai.

The study also found that after banks, airlines were the businesses, where people were most willing to share information in return for a more personalized experience. Furthermore, despite the demand for ancillary services, the 2016 study showed that airlines currently pocket just 10 pounds per passenger on extras.

Earlier this month, Sabre’s CEO discussed the company’s commitment to develop a New Distribution Capability (NDC) technology to enable airlines and travel agencies to offer more tailored products and services to meet traveler needs.

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