[By Jordan French]
The travel industry has been significantly impacted by millennials as they spend exponentially more than previous generations criss-crossing the globe.
It’s a marked departure from their parents and grandparents who traveled far less frequently, especially at a comparative age. In turn, it’s sparked a boom for the travel industry that has birthed many new options such as the sharing and gig economies and a myriad of new apps to help travelers see more of the world for increasing lower costs. While services like AirBnB have pioneered new markets for affordable accommodations virtually anywhere in the world, one of the costs of travel that has remained highest has been the flight to get to a destination. A new app called SkyHi is focused on changing that.
FLYING ON THE CHEAP?
SkyHi launched in 2016 as an app that allows users to purchase a membership that gives them access to commercial flights for as little as $35. At first, no one cared given the app’s short booking window for how far in advance members could book their flight and few city selections.
But the service more recently took off in popularity in 2019 — as it expanded the booking window and as dozens of new cities were added to its destination options. There are now more than 90 cities across the US and Europe that members may purchase up to five flights per month for on SkyHi. The pricing for the flights varies based on locations and distance. For example, flights up to 1,000 miles in distance cost $35 whereas a 2,000 mile flight costs $75 as of the time of writing.
Members are given the ability to book their flights up to 30 days out from their desired departure date. The service has particularly caught on with millennials. SkyHi CEO Rama Poola recently noted “Millennials and gen Z certainly make up the majority of our users, using the service for both business and leisure, including working remotely around the world.”
MILLENNIALS TRAVEL FOR WORK, LEARNING, AND “BLEISURE”
One of the biggest drivers of the boom for millennial travel has been the gig economy and remote work. Whether it’s through entrepreneurship, working as a remote employee or earning a freelance income through the internet, millennials and gen Z have found new ways to earn money while traveling. Even travelers who find themselves on business trips for corporate jobs are increasingly extending their stays for the purpose of “bleisure”.
The high value that generations Y and Z place on experiences and learning new cultures has pushed them to pursue global adventures earlier in life than previous generations, making millennials the fastest-growing travel demographic. These forces are all coming together to ensure that travel is going to remain a top-growing sector for millennial and gen Z discretionary spending. For startups who are able to make the experiences more cost-effective and also more convenient, there will continue to be a large market of customers to cater to.