Passengers prefer tech to people – but one size does not fit all
SITA’s survey shows airlines and airports must offer passengers choice and
Air Transport IT Summit –Airline passengers across the globe are so comfortable
with technology today that they are choosing to use it rather than interacting
with people. This is according to the 2016 SITA Passenger IT Trends Survey, a
global survey released today by IT provider SITA and co-sponsored by Air
SITA’s survey shows that 85% of passengers had a positive travel experience, up
from 80% last year. Noticeably, passengers are happier at the steps of the
journey where they have more choice and control in how they manage their trip.
At booking, which they can do online, using a mobile or with an agent,93% had a
Passengers experience the most negative emotions during the security screening,
passport control and baggage collection steps of the journey, peaking at nearly
one third of passengers at security. These are also the steps with the least
number of self-service technology options.
Francesco Violante, CEO, SITA, said: “Knowing that passengers prefer using their
own devices and self-service technology throughout the journey should encourage
airlines, airports and government to examine how they can transform the
experience at security, border control and baggage collection. The technology is
available today and the industry can be confident that it will be welcomed by
But not all passengers are the same and SITA has analyzed the behavior of four
different types – Careful Planner, Pampered, Hyper-Connected and Open-Minded
Adventurer. Each profile uses technology in different ways and SITA’s research
shows that a ‘one-size fits all’ approach risks alienating some passengers. To
help illustrate the differences SITA has made it possible for people to find out
their own passenger profile. Anyone can complete this short online form to find
out what kind of traveler they are and compare their personal behavior to others
from around the world.
Regardless of their type, once passengers are converted from person-to-person
interaction to using self-service technology few want to go back. Even if they
are not satisfied with one type of self-service technology they tend to try
another rather than revert to human contact. When it comes to check-in91% using
self-service technology will do so again and again.
Violante, added: “It is clear that passengers love technology. Once they start
to use kiosks, websites, mobile devices, automated gates and other tech they
will continue to do so rather than returning to human interaction. As airlines
and airports look to introduce new technology they should also note that
‘ease-of-use’ is vital for passengers. At check-in, the ease of use can increase
kiosk adoption by as much as 86% and mobile by 59%.”
Other key findings from the survey include:
• A majority of passengers (55%) use some self-service tech on their journey but
the end-to-end self-service journey is not yet widespread.
• If passengers have a negative experience, 54% will try a different
• When using mobiles for travel 92% find check-in easy to use.
• Passengers indicate they want more mobile services and baggage notifications
are a top priority.