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U.S. travelers ready for self-service beyond check-in
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
31 March 2015

SITA’s Annual Passenger Survey reveals that better passenger experience hinges on more automation

U.S. air travelers rank time-consuming baggage and security procedures as the top areas for improvement, according to a recent survey conducted by air transport IT specialist, SITA. The 9th annual  SITA/Air Transport World Passenger IT Trends Survey confirms that airports can significantly improve passenger experience and satisfaction by automating these and other steps throughout the air travel process.

When asked about areas of improvement, 77 percent of respondents cite security and border patrol procedures, while 73 percent report baggage collection upon arrival as their top concern.

While automated baggage and border solutions are just beginning to take hold in the U.S., their availability is likely to grow as U.S. airports automate a greater number of processes, and passengers continue to demand more convenience at their fingertips.  Just 24 percent of respondents report using a self-service bag-drop station today, yet 30 percent said they would use it if available in the future. And more than twice that number, 65 percent of respondents, said they would like to receive real-time baggage updates on their mobile device.

Paul Houghton, SITA’s President, Americas, said: “As mobile adoption and the expectation for self-service convenience continue to grow, there is an even greater opportunity for airports to streamline cumbersome processes and give their customers greater control over their travel experience—from check-in to border entry to baggage collection.

A great example of this is the growing use of SITA’s Automated Passport Control kiosks, installed at LAX, MIA, PHL, BOS and other airports across America, which have cut passenger wait times by up to 40 percent.”

Additional notable statistics

  • U.S. passengers ranked in-flight wireless, better real-time flight information and better comparability of airline fares as their top three suggested areas of investment.
  • 27 percent of passengers regularly use their smart phones to rebook delayed flights, but nearly double that number (50 percent) would do so if available over the next 12 months.
  • A majority of U.S. passengers said they would use new boarding pass services such as unstaffed boarding gates (67 percent) and self-service transfer kiosks at the connecting airport (52 percent) if available in the future.

Survey methodology

The survey, which was completed by more than 1,275 passengers in the U.S., was conducted across 15 countries worldwide with a total of nearly 6,300 participants. The 15 countries involved in the survey represent 76% of total global passenger traffic.

For more information download the survey here.

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