Air passengers in Mexico are increasingly using smartphones and mobile technology to enhance their travel experience, according to a new survey from air transport IT specialist, SITA. The 2014 SITA/Air Transport World Passenger Survey reports that 89% of Mexican passengers carry a smartphone with them with they travel-compared to the global average of 81%-and they are looking for ways to use mobile technology throughout their journeys.
The survey, which queried approximately 1,300 passengers across the Americas region, reports that check-in via smartphone apps is poised to nearly double in Mexico over the next two to three years. Today, 31% of passengers use this technology, but 61% say they will use it more in the future.
Use of mobile boarding passes in Mexico is also set to increase significantly with 76% of passengers saying they will use them in the future, compared to 54% today. And 58% of Mexican passengers said they would use smartphones more in the future to buy airline tickets and other travel-related services, compared to a regional average of 48%.
Speaking at the Airports Council International Latin American-Caribbean Annual Assembly in Cancun, Alex Covarrubias, Vice President, Sales, SITA Latin America, said: "SITA's survey highlights the positive influence that mobile technology is having on Mexican passengers' travel experiences. While passengers have already begun embracing mobile apps, we expect to see significant growth in these areas in the next two to three years as passengers become more familiar with them and airline and airport apps continue to improve."
Smartphone apps have already improved the pre-flight experience for around one-third of passengers in Mexico, reports the survey. On average 84% of smartphone users in Mexico have used airline apps and 74% have used airport apps for travel applications such as airport information and bookings. Around 75% of Mexican passengers are using smartphone apps to access real-time flight information, and 71% say they will use them more in the future, compared to an Americas average of 63%.
Smartphone apps are particularly appealing for directions and way finding, with 79% of Mexican passengers surveyed saying they would definitely use these apps in the future. Seventy-one percent said they would also definitely use their smartphones for access to boarding gates, airline lounges and other areas.
When asked about their future "wish list," passengers in Mexico said their top two priorities for investments are inflight wireless and better real-time flight information. Around 70% of Mexican passengers mentioned inflight wireless, compared to a regional average of 58%, and 59% cited better real-time flight information, compared to the regional average of 55%.
Passengers in Mexico generally showed a strong preference toward self-service technology. Around 70% of passengers said they access websites regularly via a personal computer to view flight information. Around 93% said they had used online check-in, compared to the global average of 48%. Self-service technology at the airport was also a popular option. Thirty-four percent of passengers in Mexico said they had used self-serve check-in kiosks, with 46% saying they would definitely use them in the future. An additional 90% of Mexican passengers said they would definitely use automated boarding gates, which would allow them to board the plane by scanning their own boarding passes. This compares to a regional average of 79%.
The 9th annual SITA-ATW Passenger Survey was conducted across 15 countries worldwide with nearly 6,300 participants. The 15 countries involved in the survey represent 76% of total global passenger traffic. In the Americas region, the survey was conducted across Brazil, Mexico and the United States with approximately 1,300 passengers, 20% of whom were based in Mexico.