Voice of the Industry

Air travel payments: meeting customer demands in high season

Monday 24 July 2023 10:17 CET | Editor: Irina Ionescu | Voice of the industry

Kristian Gjerding, CEO at CellPoint Digital, discusses the improvements airline companies must make to keep up with customers’ demands in terms of payments and prices, especially during the peak seasons.

Air travel is experiencing a resurgence in the post-pandemic world, with thousands of flights scheduled daily at airports across the UK, as we hit peak summer travel. Aviation analytics company, Cirium, has found that the number of daily departures is now the highest since 20 December 2019. However, recent technical issues, flight cancellations, and disruptions at passport control have highlighted the need for the air travel industry to ensure it keeps pace with customers’ demands – especially when flights have seen the steepest price hike year on year. 

To deliver a seamless travel experience for customers from booking to landing, airlines must ensure they are addressing all challenges, including those related to flight payment processing. This should include leveraging Payment Orchestration to streamline operations and continue innovating to meet heightened customer expectations.

Payment challenges airlines face

Processing flight payments presents challenges for both airlines and customers. Outdated payment infrastructure and fragmented systems often result in inefficient payment experiences. Airline customers may encounter booking failures at the checkout due to technical glitches, causing frustration and inconvenience, with 42% of potential ecommerce customers noting they are likely to abandon their carts if their cards are declined (according to Riskified). Airlines, on the other hand, face operational complexities and revenue losses due to failed transactions, payment fraud, and reconciliation issues. Therefore, solutions must be found to alleviate both parties as flight demand rises.

Innovation to meet customer demand

By embracing advancements in technology, from browsing to booking to flying, airlines can enhance the entire payment travel experience. There are a few areas where payment innovation can drive customer satisfaction:
  • Scalability: Using platforms that are designed to handle high transaction volumes and ensure system scalability allow airlines to effectively manage increased demand during busy periods, minimising website crashes or slowdowns.

  • Smart routing: Due to high demand, the availability of flights may be limited during these peak seasons. Intelligently routing transactions to the most appropriate payment service providers (PSPs) based on factors like availability, cost, and performance helps overcome limited availability and increases the chances of successful bookings.

  • Dynamic pricing: During peak periods, prices for flights and accommodations tend to rise due to increased demand. Payment orchestration solutions offer dynamic pricing capabilities, enabling businesses to adjust prices in real-time, based on demand and supply. This allows online travel agencies to offer competitive rates during peak periods without compromising profitability.

  • Speed: With more people trying to book at the same time during peak seasons, there is greater competition for the limited available seats. Payment Orchestration Platforms (POPs) support a wide range of payment methods, including popular options and local alternatives, in the local currency. By offering diverse payment options, customers can choose the methods that suit them best, increasing the likelihood of successful payments.

  • Streamline: Being able to facilitate mobile payments at the airport enables travellers to make quick and convenient payments and travel decisions. This reduces wait times at airports and aligns with the growing demand for customers to be able to make contactless transactions.

The role of Payment Orchestration

Payment Orchestration can play a vital role in streamlining the payment experience for both customers and airlines during the peak travel season, ensuring holidays can be booked more easily for customers and revenue is not lost for airlines. With full integration of Payment Orchestration, airlines can transform costs into profits, where total expenses can be reduced by up to 20% by consolidating costs under a single platform. 

By adopting a POP, airlines can consolidate multiple payment methods, gain control over the entire financial supply chain, simplify the integration of various payment providers, and enhance the security of transactions, improving the overall customer experience. This enables customers to have a seamless payment experience, reduces the risk of failed bookings and, overall, ensures smoother financial operations for airlines.

By adopting advanced technologies and focusing on customer-centric solutions, such as Payment Orchestration, airlines can meet and exceed customer expectations year-round, even during peak periods. With a commitment to innovation, the industry can pave the way for a future of efficient, convenient, and enjoyable air travel.


About  Kristian Gjerding

Kristian is a visionary entrepreneur and esteemed leader at the forefront of digital transformation and payment solutions. With an extensive background in enterprise business, including notable positions at Amdahl, Network Appliance, and Sun Microsystems, he co-founded CellPoint Digital in 2007. As CEO, Kristian's strategic acumen and operational expertise drive the company's innovation and unwavering commitment to supporting customers in the travel sector. His profound understanding of the payments landscape and ability to navigate complex challenges have positioned CellPoint Digital as a differentiator in the industry. 


About CellPoint Digital

CellPoint Digital, the inventor and leader of Payment Orchestration, is a pioneer in shaping the future of payments, with a focus on the airline and travel industry, using it’s cutting-edge Payment Orchestration Platform to enable customers to cut costs and grow revenues by streamlining payments between borders and using different payment methods – making payments work for them across all channels and markets.

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Keywords: payment processing, payment processor, payments orchestration, travel payments, payments infrastructure, ecommerce, reconciliation, payment fraud, fraud management
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Cellpoint Digital
Countries: World
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Payments & Commerce

Cellpoint Digital

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