Ferry and train websites saw traffic rise by up to 250% over the ash crisis, according to marketing specialists TradeDoubler.
The company’s insight team looked at bookings and traffic before, during and after the crisis, and noticed that traffic and bookings for both methods of transport spiked during the ash cloud and have remained higher than before airspace was closed ever since.
A spokesman said: “For rail travel, click paths remained unchanged (average clicks in a journey remained steady compared to the same period in March) most likely the result of availability.
“While users were heading to these sites with the intention to purchase, many simply found that trains and ferries were unavailable – hence the increase in non-transactional traffic during the period.”
TradeDoubler also said many sites crashed and ecommerce staff were redeployed to man overloaded call centres.
The spokesman added: “In an industry totally dependent on web-based communications and transactions, there are serious lessons to be learned.”
Airlines are apparently disappointed by a 36% jump in conversion rates when airspace reopened.
“It was not the massive jump they hoped for, which was probably impacted by the alternative means of transport already put in place by stranded travellers in the interim.”