It isn't hard to harness the spending power of travelers. The trick, it appears, is to offer them direct flights, elite treatment, and exclusive "members-only" perks.
A staggering 70 percent of the 2,339 polled travelers said they would pay more for a direct flight, according to a new survey from flight update app FlightView. Some said they'd even pay 16 percent more than the original ticket price to avoid the hassle of a layover.
Take a very popular route for example, like New York's J.F.K. to Los Angeles International Airport. If a traveler were to book today (Friday), for a direct flight from next Tuesday to Thursday through American Airlines, it could cost $986. That's $477 more than the cost of a ticket with connecting flights, which is around $509, according to data from FareCompare.
(The purpose of this estimation is simply to put ticket prices into perspective. There are many variables (i.e., the destination, choice of airline, how far in advance you purchase) that will play a role in ticket prices.)
It's worth noting that U.S. Millennials (those between the ages of 18 and 35) -- who alone account for a massive $200 billion in consumer spending -- are the most willing to swipe their cards for upgraded travel amenities. 60 percent of the Millennials surveyed said they would pay more for premium in-flight amenities, such as Wi-Fi, an in-seat charging station, the ability to text in the air, and early access to deplaning.
Millennials aren't alone in wanting access to elite deals: 50 percent would pay more for in-flight amenities, and nearly 60 percent would shell out for airport premiums, such as an R.F.I.D. (radio-frequency identification) tag to track their baggage, which sells for around $25, or having flight status alerts automatically sent to their family members, colleageus, and ground transport.
Other desireable perks included priority baggage claim and well as the ability to pre-order food and drinks at airport cafés using a mobile phone. Some of these benefits can be purchased through airline rewards' programs, such as United's Premier Access package, starting at $9 per trip.
For more results from the study, check out the infographic from FlightView below.