Passenger IT Trends Survey 2015

The latest SITA 2015 Passenger IT Trends survey came across our desks a few weeks, so we though’t we’d share it with our readers. This is the 10th annual roll-up of the latest and greatest tech and IT trends taking place in airports today, sponsored by Air Transport World and SITA.

This Passenger IT Trends survey is an important survey for the tripchi team, because it continues to validate our “long bet” on the growing adoption of airport and passenger technology. For example, the survey results generally indicate a preference towards the mobile app over the mobile browser. Additionally, while mobile app check-in continues to grow, mobile browser check-in continues to stagnate. The tripchi airport app will ultimately be offered as BOTH a mobile website and mobile apps (Android and iPhone), our assumption that a viable airport app simply must be on the app store is given credence.

Mobile vs. Desktop Trends - Passenger IT Survey

Mobile vs. Desktop Trends – Passenger IT Trends Survey

Booking, Check-in and Boarding Themes Covered in the Survey.

  1. Booking behavior – Desktop giving way to mobile. 62%
    of Passenger IT Trends survey respondents booked on desktop for their last flight, but there was a noticeable up-shift towards using mobile – it’s projected that next year, desktop/laptop bookings should fall to 53%. With 26% of passengers booking via mobile, this is expected to grow to 36% next year. Tablet bookings is also on the rise, and via the browser as opposed to a mobile app.
  2. Self-service check-in via mobile on the rise. 43% still use check-in at the counter, and this is rapidly declining in favor of mobile – which at 11% today is anticipated to get to 20% by 2016. In that segment, the preference towards using a mobile app vice the mobile web is noticeable.
  3. Use of mobile boarding passes growing. At the airport, most passengers still used the airport agent directly (33%), 29% leveraged a kiosk, while home printing was at 20% and mobile boarding passes was at 9% (and expected to double by next year).

Another Passenger IT Trends survey question answered is – does technology actually make passengers happier?

Survey respondents rated their last travel experience by journey step in terms of positive emotions and negative emotions. The answer is basically yes – technology does seem to make passengers happier. Let’s break that down.

  • 97% of passengers had a positive experience using web check-in.
  • The results also showed that most passengers viewed each step in the travel journey (check-in, security, etc.) as basically positive, but with two pieces dragging down the overall experience – frustration with security (36% had negative emotions) and bag collection (31% had negative emotions).
  • The most positive emotions come when passengers are able to relax, correlating to the time just prior to boarding (dwell time) and on-board the aircraft – positive ratings of 95% and 91%, respectively.
Passenger Emotions by Joruney Stage - Passenger IT Trends Survey 2014

Passenger Emotions by Journey Stage – Passenger IT Trends Survey 2015

What do passengers demand from mobile?

  • Passengers want to use their devices on board. 
    Two-thirds of the Passenger IT Trends survey respondents said they support the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) philosophy to access in-flight entertainment options. Obviously, passengers also want a Wi-Fi option to stay connected (60%), and even live-stream (56%).
  • Connectivity throughout the airport.  The biggest services passengers are interested in accessing are: flight details, carousel and
    wait time,  boarding and lounge access, and to a lesser degree as a means of identification (security). Of less importance, however, is using the phone for mobile payment.

Luggage questions answered in the Passenger IT Trends Survey.

20% of passengers surveyed already use automated bag-drop options today. The average transaction size for baggage is 1.2 bags, with 81% checking-in 1 or more bags. 64% of survey respondents who checked bags used the airline check-in counter, so there does appear to be some optimization and advancements undertaken for self-service options, especially considering the fact the passengers get more satisfaction out of technology-driven options.

Technology in the baggage workflow

Technology in the baggage workflow

What about the wait time and baggage reclaim at the final destination airport?
Passengers surveyed indicated that 42% received bags within 10 minutes, while 88% waited less than half an hour. Clearly airlines should think through not only efficiency/speed of baggage delivery, but also transparency (enter our FlyBeacon idea!).

For future Passenger IT Trends surveys, we hope that SITA focus more on the airport experience besides just the airline experience. The time that passengers spend waiting post-security and prior to their flight, to us, overshadow the wait-time  of all the other aggregated wait-times in the travel journey through the airport.

If you’d like to view a copy of the complete survey results, check out the link here.

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Chandra is passionate about travel and technology....

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