Travelers use their phone for just about everything–check-in, boarding passes, or even online entertainment.
As a modern airline brand, it's crucial to leverage the communication platforms your customers use most. SMS messaging is quickly becoming the standard way to communicate with travelers and enhance their travel experience.
The Challenges of Airlines in a Post-Pandemic World
Airlines have been forced to rapidly evolve in the last five years alone. Labor shortages are at a historic high as a result of pandemic mass layoffs, and inflation has put immense pressure on airlines to figure out how to keep costs under control while doing more with fewer people.
Southwest’s recent Christmas Eve debacle is a cautionary tale of just how much these factors impact the travel experience, and the potentially disastrous effects they have on an organization’s bottom line.
Customers everywhere are losing trust in airlines, especially when their technology and infrastructure cannot keep up with the increasing demands of modern travel. Travel brands are now having to think outside the box, innovating solutions that address the barrage of challenges the pandemic has left in its wake.
At Clickatell, we know the answer isn’t just innovation–it’s automation.
With SMS, The Sky’s the Limit
Leveraging SMS is a reasonable response to the unprecedented challenges of modern travel.
With frequent itinerary shifts and health safety concerns looming over the industry, airlines are turning to SMS to keep customers informed and reassured at a moment’s notice. From booking updates and flight reminders to weather alerts and customer service inquiries, SMS allows organizations to communicate with travelers efficiently.
As the travel industry recovers and adapts to the new normal, it's clear that SMS is a key player in the success of airlines.
In this article, we'll go over some types of SMS texts that airline customers will love, plus templates for each type of message.
Booking Updates & Notifications
In-Flight Upgrades or Items For Purchase
Personalized Promotions or Offers
Weather or Emergency Alerts
Loyalty Program Updates & Benefits
Customer Service or FAQs
Reminders For Future Travel
While dealing with delays and cancellations is hard enough on travelers, there is nothing more grating to a customer than learning about itinerary changes at the last minute. SMS allows airlines to send timely notifications about flight confirmations, gate changes, delays, and cancellations.
Flight Confirmation SMS Template
"Hello Will, your flight to London on 03/19/23 is confirmed. Your flight number is TA 0256 departing from C5 at 22:50. Thank you for choosing Takeoff Airways."
Gate Change SMS Template
"Attention Linda, there has been a gate change for your flight to Newark on 16/12/23. Your flight will now depart from E7 at 12:45. Please make sure to check the departure board for the latest updates. Thank you for choosing Eagle Air."
Flight Delay SMS Template
"We regret to inform you that your flight to Dubai on 06/29/23 has been delayed due to bad weather. Your new departure time is 18:30. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience. Thank you for choosing Royal Passport Airlines."
Because airlines eat the cost of empty seats on their aircraft, ensuring travelers show up is a must. Customers with multiple bookings or layovers may tangle up travel details, leading to missed flights. Sending SMS reminders helps passengers board their flight on time, and encouraging online check-in alleviates gridlock at your support desk.
Outbound Flight SMS Template
"Hello Daniel, this is a reminder that your flight to Sydney on 04/05/23 is coming up. Your flight number is AA 567, departing from G9 at 17:45. Please arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before your departure. Thank you for choosing Aussie Air."
Return Flight SMS Template
"Hi Lisa, this is a reminder that your return flight from San Francisco on 02/18/23 is coming up. Your flight number is SFA 5730, departing from AA2 at 09:20. We recommend that you check in now and arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your departure. Thank you for choosing Safe Flight Airways."
With contactless payments encouraged onboard, SMS is one way to offer customers in-flight upgrade options or items for purchase before arriving at their gate for departure. This not only streamlines the boarding process but reduces contact between passengers and airline staff. Automating upsells can support revenue growth and enhance the travel experience for your customers.
Upgrade SMS Template
"Hi Pascale, would you like to upgrade your seat to Economy Extra on your flight to Phoenix on 03/27/23? For just $25 more, you’ll receive priority boarding, extra bag, and more leg room! Reply YES to confirm or NO to decline. Thank you for choosing Air Access."
In-Flight Menu SMS Template
"Hello Tracy, check out our special in-flight menu on your trip to Munich on 07/07/23. Would you like to purchase any items from the menu? The options include pasta, sandwich or salad, and can be charged to your onboard account. Order now: http://Airways/mealorder/jsdD28H3”
Personalized promotions and offers are proven to increase brand loyalty and customer satisfaction. The ease of SMS communication allows you to send enticing offers straight to your customers’ pockets, all informed by their past bookings or interests. By sending targeted promotions, airlines can effectively connect with their customers and encourage repeat business.
Personalized Travel Promotion SMS:
"Hello Simoni, thank you for your continued loyalty with Trust Air. As a valued customer, we would like to offer you a special discount on your next trip. Use promo code NEXT50 at checkout to receive a 50% discount off your ticket. Thank you for choosing Trust Air."
Personalized Offer SMS Template
"Hi Thando, Bali awaits! Enhance your travel experience with a free hotel upgrade for just $650. This offer includes upgrade to luxury suite, all-inclusive food and drinks, and boat tour. Reply YES to purchase or NO to decline. Thank you for choosing Bali Airways."
In the event of severe weather or emergencies, it's important to keep your customers informed in real time. Not only will they be able to adjust their plans accordingly, but you will also demonstrate that your brand is putting their best foot forward, even in less-than-ideal circumstances. SMS is a fast and effective way to send time-sensitive alerts to travelers, anticipating their questions and concerns in advance.
Severe Weather Alert SMS Template
"Attention Jeandri, due to inclement weather, your flight to Tokyo on 08/29/23 has been canceled. Please contact our customer service team at 0800 555 5656 for further assistance. Thank you for choosing Best Flight Airlines."
Emergency Alert SMS Template
"Hello Natasha, this is an emergency alert for your flight to Malta on 03/04/23. There has been a security threat at the airport and all flights departing from Cape Town International have been grounded until further notice. Please follow instructions from airport security and staff. We apologize for the inconvenience and will provide updates as soon as we have them. Thank you for choosing Malta International Airways."
Frequent travelers are most engaged in mobile messaging for more than simple bookings and travel information. They have also expressed a marked interest in receiving loyalty program updates and benefits straight to their devices. From frequent flyer programs to travel rewards, SMS offers airlines a quick way to give your best customers the VIP treatment.
Loyalty Tier Upgrade Notification SMS Template
"Congratulations Emma, you’ve reached a new loyalty tier with Weston Airlines! As an Extra member, you are now eligible for free seat selection, priority boarding, and early access to specials. Thank you for your loyalty and we look forward to your next flight with us."
Exclusive Loyalty Member Promotion SMS Template
"Hi Marisa, we have a special offer for our loyalty program members. You can now redeem 5000 points for a seat upgrade on your next flight with us. Simply log in to your loyalty account and select your reward at checkout. Thank you for choosing RC Airlines."
Nobody enjoys waiting in line or being put on hold, especially at a chaotic, bustling airport terminal. Scaling out and elevating your customer support experience means opting for more self-service options that keep passengers moving through security and not held up with a desk agent. SMS is a convenient way for customers to get instant answers to their questions or concerns.
General Customer Support SMS Template
"Hello Rudy, thank you for reaching out to Silver Lining Airlines customer service. How can we assist you today? Please reply with your question or concern and we will do our best to help."
Itinerary-Specific Customer Support SMS Template
"Hi Razaan, we apologize for the inconvenience you are experiencing. To better assist you, could you please provide us with your booking confirmation number and a brief description of the issue? We will do our best to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. Thank you for choosing CTC Airways."
SMS gives you endless opportunities to wow travelers and go the extra mile. Here are a few more text templates to show your customers a first-class guest experience from your airline.
"Hello Jason, don't forget to pack your passport for your upcoming trip to Johannesburg! If you don't yet have your valid passport, there's still time to apply for one. Check out http://www.rsa.passport.com.
Packing Reminder SMS Template
"Hi Nadia, we hope you’re excited for your upcoming trip to Vienna. Don’t forget to pack accordingly. The weather in Vienna is expected to be cold with a high of 37°F and a low of 28°F. Thank you for choosing Air Wien."
Airline App Download Reminder SMS Template
"Hello Nick, don’t forget to download the High Flyer app before your flight. The app has useful features like flight tracking, airport maps, and in-flight entertainment to make your travel experience even smoother. Thank you for choosing High Flyer Airlines."
TSA Liquid Limits Reminder SMS Template
"Hello Andrea, as a reminder, all liquids, gels, and aerosols must be placed in a quart-sized, clear plastic, sealable bag and placed in a carry-on bag for security screening. Please have this bag easily accessible for inspection. Next Stop Air looks forward to seeing you onboard soon."
Partnership Information SMS Template
"Hi Brett, did you know that Non-Stop Air has a partnership with Titan Rental? Now you can easily book a rental car for your trip to New Jersey through our website. Simply log in to your account to browse rental car options at great rates. Thank you for choosing Non-Stop."
Security Line Update SMS Template
“Attention travelers to JFK, wait times at security are expected to be longer than usual. We encourage you to arrive at the airport 2-3 hours early for domestic flights to ensure on-time boarding. Thank you for flying Star Air. We’ll see you soon.”
Onboard Face Mask Regulations SMS Template
“Hi Jennifer, as a reminder, all passengers on JA 6876 are required to wear a face mask at all times onboard except while eating or drinking. Face masks must cover both your nose and mouth. We thank you in advance for your cooperation.”
Destination Face Mask Regulations SMS Template
“Hello Verushka, USA law mandates face masks to be worn indoors at all times. While masks are not required onboard your flight, they are required of all travelers arriving in LAX. Please ensure you and your travel party have masks prepared when leaving the plane before heading to customs. Thank you and see you onboard.”
SMS allows airlines to quickly adapt to the fluid and unpredictable climate of modern travel. You can automate revenue growth with personalized messaging and mass marketing strategies or communicate time-sensitive information in mere seconds. With thoughtful planning, leveraging SMS can position your airline brand as an industry leader that travelers can count on.
Clickatell’s Chat Commerce solutions help you get miles ahead of the competition with SMS business integration. From its global reach to two-way text messaging capabilities, our intuitive platform has empowered over 15,000 clients worldwide to make meaningful and lasting connections with their customers.
SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.