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Other Articles Last modified on December 4, 2016

What passengers want

Passengers continue to embrace new technology, according to 2016 Passenger IT Trends Survey.

It should come as no surprise to learn that we love IT and continue to embrace it in increasing numbers, the findings of SITA’s 2016 Passenger IT Trends Survey revealing that a staggering 92% of today’s passengers use self-service technology to book their airline tickets.

This means that traditional travel agents – once an essential part of the travel experience – are now virtually a thing of the past as just 8% of people want ‘human interaction’ when booking.

In fact, SITA claims that the change in how we book our flights shows just how comfortable passengers across the globe are with technology, with many choosing to use it rather than interacting with people.

The rejection of face-to-face communication with others is, of course, just one of the key findings of the survey, which this year took an in depth look at the impact human factors, and perhaps more accurately emotions, had on the adoption of new technology.

Airports will be delighted to learn that the survey revealed 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 such as booking, check-in, and during dwell times. 

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.

But not all passengers are the same and SITA has analysed the behaviour of four different types – the 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 as everyone is different.

Talking about the survey, SITA’s market insight research expert ,Christelle Laverriere, notes: “Our survey showed that once people start using self-service technology they won’t go back. For example, 91% of those using self service today said that they may switch to a new technology in the future but they won’t ever go back to face-to-face service at the check-in desk.”

She, however, reminded everyone that although 85% of today’s 3.5 billion passengers per annum are happy, it meant that at least 400 million are not, and that this figure is likely to increase as global passenger numbers double to around seven billion per annum by 2035.”

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