that can’t be done on the internet or through an app.”
Te survey shows that 16% of passengers used airport
kiosks to check in and 33% used them for bag tagging.
Te booking and check-in results show that “it is not
one technology from beginning to end—passengers can
mix and choose different technologies so they can have
more control,” Laverriere says.
Who are you?
With most passengers now carrying a mobile device, their
appetite for using them to access more services is growing.
For example, 59% of survey respondents were willing to
use their devices for identification checks at the airport
and a further 33% said they were open to the idea.
“Te technology to do that is not ready yet but this
shows that passengers want more self-service and they
recognize that ID is one of the pain points at the airport,”
says Sean Farrell, portfolio director for SITA’s government and security solution line.
Blockchain technology could make it possible for
passengers to securely store biometric and other personal data on their mobile devices and use them to pass
through border control points. Blockchain technology
underpins Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies. It
uses a distributed protocol to store data and transactions
in a series of decentralized, cryptographic blocks. As new
blocks are created, they form a chain or blockchain.
“Blockchain technology offers us the potential to
provide a new way of using biometrics. It could enable
biometrics to be used across borders, and at all airports,
without the passenger’s details being stored by the various
authorities,” SITA says.
With 92% of passengers open to using their mobile
devices for ID checks, “airlines and airports can be confident that their investments will pay off and the new services will be welcomed,” the report notes.
Te SITA survey also examined passengers’ consumption of free and paid services, both before and during journeys.
It found that Wi-Fi is the most popular
complimentary service, with 55% of airline passengers accessing free connectivity,
and those people are also more willing to
pay for services.
“Crucially, tech-enabled passengers are
almost one-and-a-half times more likely
to consume paid services at the airport
than non-tech users, making them a key
focus for airports looking to increase non-aeronautical revenues,” the report says.
Seven percent of respondents said they would spend
up to $25 on connectivity, another 2% would pay up to
$99 and 1% would be prepared to spend over $100 to
access the internet during dwell time.
Airlines and airports vary in whether, or how much,
they charge for Wi-Fi. Some do not charge at all, while
others provide free access for the first 30 minutes and
then introduce a fee. Getting their strategy right, there-
fore, is “really important,” Laverriere says. “On board and
at the airport, the number one service is connectivity—it
is not a question anymore. For passengers and the indus-
try this gives further opportunities to improve the travel
Inflight connectivity also provides airlines with greater
opportunities to sell more duty-free products. Almost
one-third of passengers surveyed said they had treated
themselves to duty-free luxuries, and 6% said they spent
over $100 on duty-free goods on their last flight.
As the survey notes, the growth of duty-free sales is
only limited by a lack of aircraft storage space for inventory—a hurdle that can be overcome by enabling people
to make their purchases online while in the air and collect them on the ground.
“With ubiquitous connectivity in the skies, airlines
should soon be able to provide a personalized, digital duty-free experience for travelers, offering a wider selection
of goods, with passengers able to collect their purchased
items on transfer or arrival,” the report says.
Passengers will only become more tech-enabled going
forward, and their desire to use mobile devices to take
control of more elements of their journey will continue
to grow. Te SITA survey suggests this opens a wealth of
opportunities for airlines and airports to use technology
to their own advantage and boost not just customer satisfaction, but revenue as well.
Alerts on flights and gates
Bag collection notifications at arrival
Report mishandled bags
Route to check-in, gates, lounge
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10%
ID identification 59% 33%
Track bags on mobile apps 64% 29%
PASSENGER DEMAND FOR MOBILE SERVICES
OF PASSENGERS WILLING TO USE NEW MOBILE SERVICES IN 2018
SOURCE: 2019 SITA PASSENGER IT INSIGH TS SURVEY
2019 SITA PASSENGER IT SURVEY