According to a recent Hotel News Now article, airport hotels are seeing an increase in demand and now command a significant rate premium.
The article highlights how a new study from STR shows that U.S. airport hotels posted a 9.1 percent increase in revenue per available room through the first seven months of 2015, after posting a similar growth rate of 9.3 percent during the same period in 2014. This increase in demand is allowing airport hotel operators to increase their average daily rates by 7 percent.
On the surface, this seems like a good thing for these hoteliers. But what’s really going on behind this increase in room demand? It’s actually quite simple: flight delays and other issues brought on by the airlines.
According to this recent Fortune article, airports like Chicago’s O’Hare International and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International experience the most delayed or cancelled flights in the U.S. Especially in winter – in 2014, more than 75,000 domestic flights were cancelled during winter.
While airport hotel operators are reaping the benefits of these flight delays, it should be noted that they are often dealing with a weary, stressed-out traveler – many who are traveling for business.
Pleasing these guests is no small challenge. By implementing the right innovations for reducing the stress that comes with travel, it is possible to reduce guest friction.
For example, if you have built a persona on a certain kind of business traveler who is about to come through your doors – due to a cancelled flight – it is possible to anticipate his or her needs in advance. Of course, their needs could be as simple as having effective Wi-fi or knowing their room service preferences.
Anticipating the needs of these stressed out travelers will go a long way in turning a negative experience into something that creates lasting brand loyalty – even if cancelled flights keep sending guests your way.