Disney Theatrical Productions Use an Airline Tip
So, what do Broadway shows and airlines have in common? The desire for a full house! Therefore, a new partnership between Disney Theatrical Productions and Volantio, Inc. is born.
Volantio, Inc. Options
Volantio, Inc. assists airlines with oversold flights by proactively reaching out to guests with flexibility options and rewards. The impacted individuals may receive flight upgrades, free miles, or other perks.
Now, Volantio, Inc. is doing the same for Disney on Broadway productions through a low-key pilot program. For example, if you decide to receive notifications during your ticket purchase, then you may receive an offer to trade your mezzanine seats on Saturday night for center orchestra on Sunday as a free upgrade.
Upgrades and Offers
Hence, chief executive and co-founder of Volantio, Inc., Azim Barodawala said, “Capacity has always been fixed in the history of theater. You can’t put a new balcony in for the show just because the demand is there to sell the seats. But we’re enabling Disney to do exactly that on a targeted, as-needed basis.”
Vice president of sales and analytics at Disney Theatrical Productions, Nicholas Falzon stated, “Being able to siphon people from really high-demand performances to a 95%-occupied performance has real material benefit to us.”
Falzon continued to say, “For us, a show like Lion King, pre-pandemic, represents over $100 million gross a year. Getting an additional 1% is a financial benefit, but it’s also literally just more people. Without doing something like this, we can only grow our business via price.”
How Do the Offers Work?
So, people from farther distances receive offers within a few days of their original date, since they are on vacation. However, Volantio, Inc. may offer locals opportunities from one Saturday night to the following Saturday night. Either way, all offered updates are free and optional.
However, Falzon made a very valid point of how such offers differ between Broadway and air travel. He said, “There’s no such thing as an oversell in a theater, and ultimately we want people to understand this is nothing more than a net benefit—a free opportunity. Nobody is impacted if they say no.”
In addition, he explained, “It’s easier to move people into alternate performances with shows that don’t sell out as much because there’s more room to place people, but you have to have performances that you expect to sell out for it to have a benefit.”
A Shift of Mindset Due to the Pandemic
“The standard on Broadway for years was ‘No exchanges, no refunds, no questions. Institutionally, Broadway had to come back from the pandemic with a full-exchange policy to help guests feel comfortable booking. Now, people expect the flexibility of being able to get refunds or exchanges as their plans shift. It’s not even a ‘nice to have now’; it’s table stakes,” stated Nicolas Falzon from Disney Theatrical Productions.
Article Information: www.bloomberg.com
Featured Image: Matthew Murphy
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