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New SITA report confirms that journey smoothing technology makes people happy.

Airline passengers are using automated technology for passport checks at double the rate recorded in 2017, according to the latest aviation IT research.

Indeed, passengers are happier when technology smooths their way through passport checks and other aspects of their airport journey, reveals SITA’s 2019 Passenger IT Insights report.

The report shows that 44% of passengers sailed through automated passport control, a jump from 21% in 2017.

It notes that at passport control, a traditional pain point of the journey, passengers were 3.85% more satisfied when they used self-scanning gates to verify their ID, compared to those using agent-assisted controls. These technology users had a satisfaction rate of 8.36 out of 10.

Matthys Serfontein, SITA’s president of air travel solutions, says “One of the standout findings of our report this year is that at every point in the journey, where passengers use technology, the rate of satisfaction is higher.

“Airlines and airports can see the benefit of their technology investments in making it easy for passengers, every step of the way. Over the years, booking, check-in and bag drop have increasingly become automated, and passengers like it.

“Interestingly, this year the report shows how introducing automated passport controls, in collaboration with government and border agencies, also increases passenger satisfaction.”

Automated gates used at boarding are another success for the industry and its passengers, according to SITA.

It claims that not only do they speed up the processing of passengers but they support more efficient operations and faster turnarounds, the end result being 2.2% higher satisfaction levels for travellers opting for the self-service options.

“Across the board we have found that passengers are keen to use the biometric self-service process and when given a choice, over 90% of travellers typically opt in,” adds Serfontein. “Actions speak louder than words, and it’s becoming very clear from our implementations that people like using biometrics for easy travel.”

It seems that when it comes to verifying their identity, passengers are ready to use technology even more, and in a variety of ways. SITA reports that 59% are ‘very willing’ to use their mobiles for ID verification along the journey, with a further 33% open to the idea.

While proving your identity using your mobile device is not an option widely available today, with nine out of ten passengers potentially welcoming this service, airlines and airports can be confident when moving to mobile services for ID identification.


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