Why booking a flight with APAC’s premium airlines is an arduous journey

I’ve previously examined the flight search experience on APAC’s budget airlines, and now it’s time to turn the spotlight on the premium end of the market.

This time though I’ve looked at the process of buying a flight and how easy it is to get through the checkout.

Airlines probably have greater freedom than other industries when it comes to web design, as purchase decisions tend to be driven by cost so people are less likely to drop out just because the checkout is tricky to use.

But with an ever-increasing focus on the customer experience, airlines need to ensure their websites match their best-in-class aspirations.

I looked at the UX to see whether the reality matches the advertising, but first here’s the criteria we look for in checkout design:

Mobile loyalty apps: which Australian brands are getting it right?

Smartphone owners are almost never without their device, which is why it’s a perfect place to store digital versions of brand loyalty cards.

Research has shown that almost a third of Australian loyalty scheme members (31%) want an app alongside a standard plastic card, while a further 37% of respondents also said that they would consider paying for a loyalty app, depending on the benefits.

With this in mind I set out to find a few Australian brands that were a cut above the competition when it came to designing mobile loyalty apps.

And guess what? I couldn’t find many good examples…

This may partly be due to the act that some potentially decent apps didn’t work due to the fact that I’m London-based (e.g. Coles), but I was also quite surprised by the low quality of some of the apps I downloaded (e.g. Drakes Supermarkets).

Hey, Qantas: business basics come before social media

In April 2009 I flew to Australia with Qantas, a brand I’d always heard good things about. I’ll spare you the details but the long flight sucked. 

So I decided to write to customer services to issue a light complaint, in the hope for a bit of love on the return leg. 

I contacted Qantas via a form on its website, while logged in to my frequent flyer account. An auto-response email was promptly fired back at me. Some 18 months later I’m still waiting for a proper reply!