Millennials account for up to 50% of the global travel retail market spend

By Pumla Luhabe Time of article published Sep 21, 2017

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Millennials have taken flight and are pioneering a new path to enrich their lives through travel. Aged between 18 and 34, Millennials have become an increasingly important generation which poses several opportunities for organisations, including airlines to cater for their very particular needs.


According to a report by Nielsen titled Young and Ready to Travel millennials are traveling more often than their predecessors. Previous generations traveled primarily for work and special occasions, but Millennials travel to enrich their lives with personal experiences.


The report indicates that the global travel retail market accounts for $63.5 billion (approximately R837 billion), with Millennials making up to 50% of that spend!


Millennials have become so important that major airlines, including Mango have started taking note and are offering specialised experiences to attract Millennials. For example, Air France recently announced that they are launching a new airline in September, called Joon, specifically catering to Millennials. Its flight crew will be clad in “trendy-casual and Instagrammable outfits”, creating a completely different on-board experience than the traditional ‘je ne sais quoi’ Air France flights.

Hipmunk, in the USA surveyed more than 8,500 people in 24 countries with some interesting findings:

·         Millennials want on-board bars with free booze and themed flights with seasonal goodies

·         24% of Millennials would pay more to be on a child-free flight

·         Not surprisingly, electronics matter supremely to those born in the 1980s. The survey found 45% of millennials want to e-chat or play games with other passengers, while only 36% of Gen-Xers wanted to do so

·         And some offbeat ideas got a thumbs up too. For example, 70% of millennials would sit near the restrooms and 28% would stand if it meant saving money on airfares, according to the survey

Millennials show how the industry is shifting, it is not only about what the flight costs and what routes the airline flies, but tech-savvy travellers want an in-flight experience.

Other airliners have also introduced ‘quirky’ ways to attract this younger traveler.  Delta Airlines has become famous for their humorous safety videos, while other airlines such as Southwest Airlines, are known for their pilots who take selfies with on-board customers before each flight takes off.


Locally, Mango Airlines prides itself on offering its guests an affordable yet enjoyable experience on every flight. A relentless pursuit of excellence is what drives Mango and forms a fundamental part of our culture. Over the years Mango has perfected our customer experience, from tongue-in-cheek humour to excellent Guest service, who are always left satisfied and ready for their journey.

Millennials are also extremely technologically savvy and they expect their service providers to be equally fluent in all things digital. Mango has pioneered the domestic aviation industry across several technological touch points, from being the first to develop a mobile App for booking and payment, to being the only carrier globally to accept store charge cards such as Edgars and Jet cards as a method of payment.



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