Ancillary revenue in aviation: what are the next big opportunities in 2024?

How you can grow your airline profits with ancillary revenue, including baggage tracking options? Discover the opportunities for 2024.
Toy plane and money on white background. Ancillary revenue for airlines.

Quick recap: what is ancillary revenue?

In case you are unfamiliar with ancillary revenue: it encompasses the small extras that extend beyond the normal ticket sale. Just think of passengers who opt to pay so they can select their seats, choose an exclusive menu, or get extra legroom.

Ancillary revenue opens opportunities for airlines to connect with their passengers, helping them build a customized travel experience.
Ancillary revenue opens opportunities for airlines to connect with their passengers, helping them build a customized travel experience.

As passengers build their own bespoke experience, airlines generate an extra income stream: ancillary revenue.

By building partnerships, the experience can even go beyond the airline’s traditional offerings. Think of collaborations with hotels, car rental companies, and insurance providers that enable passengers with a personalized touch, while adding extra layers of income for airlines.

Top 3 examples of ancillary revenue in 2022

Over the last decade, global ancillary revenues have more than doubled, reaching a historic high of $102 billion in 2022. To put this into perspective: this number accounts for approximately 15% of total airline revenue.

So what are some notable examples and stats of airlines leading the way in ancillary revenue?

For some airlines, ancillary revenue is soaring to new heights.
For some airlines, ancillary revenue is soaring to new heights.
  • The UK-based airline Jet2 boasted an impressive $84.72 in ancillary revenue per person. Their services include VIBE which gives passengers special access to certain entertainment venues. And with Express Transfers passengers can choose a preferred drop off on holiday arrival transfers.
  • Frontier Airlines (Denver) introduced the GoWild! All You Can Fly Pass, charging one price for unlimited flights, to generate an extra revenue stream. In 2022, Frontier Airlines (Denver) was the only two carriers apart from Spirit Airlines (Florida) that managed to get more than 50% of their total revenue from extra services.
  • Meanwhile, Air Canada focused on food and catering, revamping their Maple Leaf Lounge with a modern buffet and extended café offerings. In combination with new Priority Access Lanes, the airline managed to generate $2 billion in non-ticket fees in 2022, or about $54.65 per passenger.

Going beyond the ordinary? Ancillary revenue with baggage tracking

The ancillary revenue story is clearly a win-win for both passengers and airlines. A customer-friendly and personalized approach has reshaped the airline business model and created a new, stable income source for carriers.

But as the extraordinary becomes the ordinary, such as is becoming the case with seat assignment and exclusive menus, where can airlines still make a difference?

At Bob, we think the problem — and solution — for travel lies at airports.

The Lost & Found office at an airport. A bad baggage experience leaves passengers feeling frustrated with the airline, which affects customer loyalty.

As traveler numbers keep growing exponentially, airports are becoming a source of frustration for passengers, especially regarding the baggage experience. It’s where they have to wait for a long time to check in their bag, to then have to hope it will be routed to their destination.

So how can airlines boost their ancillary revenue while improving the baggage experience?

Bob’s TravelTag: the smartest way to connect with passengers while generating revenue

Imagine a live Bluetooth tracker that you can offer with a profitable margin to your passengers. They can keep track of their bag with real-time insights, during the entire journey. And what’s more, so can you, as an airline.

Small yet extremely efficient: Bob’s TravelTag opens new ways of generating revenue while boosting passenger happiness.

Has a bag been lost at the airport? You will find its location immediately, ready to get the baggage rerouted and assure your passenger of timely delivery.

With innovative tools like Bob’s TravelTag, you are certain of a partner for your ancillary revenue, who is ready to push the boundaries of existing possibilities and reshape the traditional system.

Ready for the next stage?

As the aviation industry embraces innovation, the potential for extra revenue through baggage tracking solutions is immense. Airlines are encouraged to explore novel approaches, collaborate with technology partners like Bob, and seize the opportunity to transform operations while providing added value to passengers. The journey to unlocking greater profitability through ancillary revenue has just begun …

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