TripAdvisor is one of the go-to sites I use for reviews on all things travel. Apparently, they rolled out the ability for users to review airlines a few years back. It used to be only visible to those booking a flight through TripAdvisor, but just a couple of months ago the Airlines Review got out of beta, and there are now thousands of passenger reviews.
There are plenty of places online to see what others (like yours truly) think of a particular flight, especially with aspirational products. However, reviews for coach travel can often be hard to find. This is why I applaud TripAdvisor’s effort on growing into a one-stop shop for all things travel, down to the part about getting there.
For example, maybe you want to see what it would be like flying Air Koryo, North Korea’s flag carrier. Or maybe you want to know what the buzz about Garuda Indonesia is about. What if you are headed to the Middle East and will be flying flydubai? You can find out what to expect. t
Being part of TripAdvisor means airlines managers actually have the ability to respond to these reviews. However, as far as I can tell, no airline personnel has responded to any reviews yet. I actually really like the responses given by hotel managers in many hotel reviews. I think they add a dose of authenticity, and shows that the hotel actually cares about guests’ experiences. I think that itself is a much more powerful marketing tool than an ad, given how many people check TripAdvisor. However, when it comes to flying, consumers are much more price sensitive, and there is only so much an airline can do in product differentiation.
Still, I can’t help but think…what if one day TripAdvisor replaces SkyTrax as the guide to airlines?