Passengers using Frankfurt Airport are very keen on using self-service, according to the 2012 SITA/Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service Survey. Frankfurt leads the way with the use of self-bag-drops, for example, as well as self-service check-in. However, because Frankfurt is so advanced in its use of kiosks and web check-in, interest in the use of mobile phone functionality is generally lower than global averages.
Frankfurt am Main is Germany's busiest airport, with over 57 million passengers flying to 264 destinations in 113 countries. On the day of the survey, 45% of its passengers used a staffed bag-drop station, compared to 32% surveyed at airports across the rest of the world. For unstaffed bag-drop, Frankfurt is also ahead of the curve: here 7% of passengers used the service which is the highest rate recorded in the survey and double the global average. Likewise, 76% of passengers at Frankfurt had used self-service check-in, compared to 68% elsewhere. This could explain why passengers at Frankfurt rate check-in and bag drop as less stressful than passengers do at other airports.
Passengers in Frankfurt are also embracing self-service on mobiles. Some 44% of passengers check-in via their mobiles occasionally or frequently, while 43% used mobile boarding passes at the airport.
However, despite the relatively high usage, uptake of mobile self-services at Frankfurt could be higher. Many passengers here are still reluctant to use mobile boarding passes. The main reason, given by 58% of respondents, is a preference for paper boarding passes. This ties in with a concern, expressed by 44% of passengers surveyed, that mobile phone services are not available at all airports. Another reason for the slower pick up of mobile check-in is that passengers at this airport are already heavy users of other self-service channels for check-in - web and kiosks - and it may take some time to change habits. Frankfurt passengers are also less interested in using their mobile phones for flight updates, searching for flights, navigating through the airport, boarding passes and promotions.
Dave Bakker, SITA President, Europe, said: "Frankfurt passengers have embraced self-service enthusiastically and, exactly as intended, it is improving their journey through the airport. Given the success of the existing self-service facilities, it is perhaps unsurprising that mobile phone functionality holds less interest. However, we have seen the take-up of mobile services accelerate across the rest of the world and the signs are certainly beginning to emerge that Frankfurt will follow suit."
Frankfurt passengers are savvy users of social media. Their use of it for travel planning, such as storing their itinerary, searching for flights and planning who to sit next to, is above the global average. But they are more reluctant than others to use social media for shopping, and they would prefer not to have promotions coming through their social media accounts.
These key findings are from the seventh annual SITA/ATW Passenger Self-Service Survey, carried out with a sample of the 280 million passengers who pass through six of the world's leading airport hubs: Abu Dhabi International; Beijing Capital International; Frankfurt International; Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta; Chhatrapati Shivaji International, Mumbai; and Guarulhos International, Sao Paulo. The survey included 2,526 passengers from more than 70 countries.
More information on this and other SITA surveys can be found at www.sita.aero/surveys-reports.