Flex or NoFlex?

The COVID-19 has shaken up segmentation, that’s a fact. However, if there is one practice that has not been so much affected by the crisis, it is that of ticket flexibility: Flex or NoFlex.

Used for many years by the tourism and transport industries, COVID-19 has simply made this already well-established practice more flexible.

Flex or NoFlex: what is it all about?

Flex and NoFlex are offers often used in the transport sector (aviation, rail, etc.).

  1. The « Flex »  (flexible) offer is exchangeable, cancellable and refundable free of charge.
  2. The « NoFlex »  offer (non-flexible) is non-exchangeable and non-refundable. Of course, the former are more expensive than the latter, with an average difference of around 15%.
  3. And there can be a whole host of « Semi-Flex »  options in between, the contours of which I’ll leave you to imagine.

It’s an entirely relevant distinction. Particularly for the Business segment, which wants this flexibility to manage its travel, and is prepared to pay more. The player takes a risk on this flexibility with late cancellations, no-shows, and passes on part of this risk in the price, another part being managed by overbooking.

The question isn’t whether this practice is relevant, it is. The question is « how »  to manage it.

Most players with a strong business component do this through dedicated price classes. This is relevant when you have a significant volume of customers behind you. For others, a price supplement may suffice, an add-on that can be inserted into the booking tunnel: for xx euros more, buy your freedom.

Alternatively, you can simply buy the option to think about it for a few days (a paid option). These mechanisms are much easier to manage, because for a pure leisure player, the introduction of dedicated price classes generates too much complexity for the expected gains.

We can help you with this. It’s not necessarily your job to know how. But it is ours, so contact us!

Keywords: Flex, NoFlex, overbooking, COVID-19, price class