A consumer survey by Sabre Corporation has found the length of time travellers typically spend searching for flight is longer than the flights themselves.
The GDS and technology provider found the average time consumers spend finding the ideal flight is 3.5 hours.
Sabre said this highlight “the incredible array of flight options available to travellers today, and the potential dilemma of easily finding the right fare at the right price”.
Roshan Mendis, senior vice president EMEA at Sabre, said: “Holidays are meant to be an escape, but, before they get to their destinations, people are spending hours finding the flight that best suits their needs.
“This is compounded by airlines increasingly unbundling their fares and selling a wider range of extras.
“It’s a real paradox – on one had the choice is fantastic for passengers, but on the other, it makes flight search and comparison tedious and complex – with some people visiting 38 websites before making a booking.
“Advancements in data insights can help airlines cut through the clutter by offering travellers very specific and bespoke options based on their individual needs.
“This level of personalisation is the holy grail for the travel industry, and Sabre is heavily invested in helping to make it a reality.”
The Sabre study also found that, after banks, airlines were the businesses people were most willing to share information with in return for a more personalized experience.
Mendis added: “The future of travel revolves around how well airlines and other travel suppliers can get to know and communicate with their travelers
“Our research shows a willingness from travellers for airlines to use data to improve the flight experience. This is great news, but today we’re only scratching the surface.”
Sabre has made a commitment to develop New Distribution Capability (NDC) technology to enable airlines and travel agencies to offer more tailored products and services.
A 2016 Sabre study found travellers are willing to spend an average of £62 on additional services, such as upgrades and priority boarding, to improve their journeys.
But despite the demand for ancillary services, airlines currently make just £10 per passenger on extras.
For its latest study Sabre surveyed 2,200 consumers from Western Europe (UK, Germany, Spain and Italy) to find out how they felt about their pre-travel experiences.
The research found that 25-34-year-olds spent the longest amount of time finding the right flights – 4 hours 9 minutes – while over 55s spent the least amount of time at just 3 hours 45 minutes.
Of the four nations, Italian travellers spent the most time finding their perfect flights (4 hours 8 minutes), while Spanish travellers took just 2 hours 47 minutes.
Italian women aged 25-34 took the most time of all groups at almost 6 hours – almost as long as a flight from Milan to Dubai.