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How high-speed rail must evolve to improve rail customer experience

November 15, 2011
Author: Eve-Marie Morgo

As international high-speed rail becomes more popular, we launched an online survey in collaboration with YouGov to discover rail passenger' expectations and preferences for rail. Are you looking to modernise and improve your rail customer experience? We show you how.

Over 7,000 rail passengers across France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK – were polled in this European rail market study. Demonstrating marked differences across the participating countries. Survey's key findings include: 

The seamless travel experience

Almost 60% participants would like to book connecting rail and other transport modes in advance. Which countries rated this option higher? Sweden (71%), followed by Germany (64%) and Spain (63%). 

But there are also some other important attributes for today's rail traveller:

  • Pre-booking onboard entertainment or Wi-Fi (46%)
  • Fast track check-in and security (38%)
  • Hotel bookings, transfers and travel insurance (37%)

Get to know your customer

Big data in the travel industry and the right rail travel technology in place can help you get to know your customer better. But what is your customer expecting from you? 

  • 52% expect that you know their seat preferences.
  • 46% want you to know their total trip (connecting flights, hotel accommodation and car rental)
  • 39% expect rail technology solutions that keep them informed 
  • Spain (32%), France (26%) and Italy (25%) you should be aware of their favourite destinations
What does the rail traveller expect to find at an international railway station by 2014? 70% expect to find comfortable seating and relaxation areas. 40% wants mobile payments. 

High-speed rail vs airlines: the price advantage

When are travellers willing to choose rail over airlines? In addition to competitive pricing, respondents said:

 The rail opportunity is clear: 77% would choose rail instead of taking another means of transport if the cost is competitive.

“The next 3 years we will see rail establishing as a truly international travel form. The survey results provide insights into what rail travellers demand of railways in the future. The next step is to deliver a seamless travel experience based on knowing the needs and expectations of tomorrow’s travellers.” Thomas Drexler, Amadeus

Want to know more about this high-speed rail reserach? Take a look at the press coverage in Buying Business Travel: Advances in rail ticketing high priority and European Railway Review: New research from Amadeus pinpoints how high-speed rail must evolve to meet changing traveller demands.

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