A new report shows that more flexible payment options such as 'pay when you fly' (PWYF) will encourage travel recovery.
According to an Amadeus, a study of 5,000 travellers worldwide reveals the extent 'refund uncertainty' is having on traveller confidence and bookings in 2021.
High levels of cancellation during the pandemic had resulted in refund issues for travellers. Some travel companies offered vouchers for future travel, but the ongoing uncertainty in travel amid global travel restrictions has resulted in uncertainty on when travellers can redeem their vouchers.
Some 81% of travelers confirmed that the increased risk of cancellations due to the pandemic is a barrier to booking travel this year, with refund uncertainty (46%) and the inconvenience of the refund process (38%) topping concerns when a flight is cancelled.
Notably, 62% of travelers likely to take-up new PWYF options to reduce exposure to the refund process
Several airlines such as Malaysia Airlines now allow travellers the flexibility to spread their flight cost over 12 months.
Amadeus referenced another major European carrier, which offers a PWYF option, allowing travellers to make a flight reservation by paying a small deposit and then settling the balance prior to travel.
Apart from building confidence to fly, PWYF travellers are also willing to spend 36% more per trip on average, with another 49% more likely to add extra services such as meals and baggage.
View the full Amadeus report here.