More Passengers Want Self Service

A RECENT comprehensive global survey of passengers’ use of air transport self-service technology by SITA has found popular demand is now reaching out into non-traditional areas of self-service.  Airline passengers are demonstrating their increased ease with online, kiosk and mobile phone channels.  While online booking and check-in are nearing their full potential, there is now a clear demand for self-service on other steps of the passenger journey including automated security checks, which are now acceptable to 70% of respondents compared to 58% in last year’s survey.  Similarly, demand for automatic boarding gates is now at 70% compared to 57% last year.
In addition, there has been a significant year-on-year growth in the percentage of passengers using airline websites to book hotels (up from 21% in 2009, to 38% in this year’s survey) and car rental (19% to 35%).  Similar growth is being recorded in other ancillary revenue streams including purchase of travel insurance, bus and train tickets and duty free items.
Almost half of the survey respondents, who checked in at a desk rather than online or through a kiosk, did so because of the need to check in a bag.  About 70% of interviewed passengers would tag their own bag if they could and about 75% would be interested in off-airport bag drop-off but only a third would be willing to pay for such a service.