Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking at the ACI North America Annual Conference & Exhibition in Long Beach, CA, USA. The topic of discussion was “Making the connection personal” and included several unprecedented opportunities that airports have, thanks to the ubiquity of the smartphone among today’s air travelers, to deliver a more personalized passenger experience.
We know that close to 100% of global air travelers carry a device while traveling. Here in the US, more than 25% carry multiple devices. In fact, the more frequent a passenger travels, the more devices he or she tends to carry.
All of this comes to us from the latest Passenger IT Trends Survey. And airports would be wise to pay attention. Why? Because the more devices passengers carry, the more opportunities airports have to capture their data and put it to good use improving operations or the passenger experience or both.
According to the latest Airport IT Trends Survey, airports are starting to get onboard with the need to connect with their passengers. There’s an unprecedented interest in passenger data, not surprising given that the passenger is seen as the new customer. Five out of seven data sources are seen as priorities for airport investment:
- Data from aircraft movement
- Data from business transactions
- Data from passengers directly
- Data from baggage operations
- Data from resource management
By getting a better understanding of passenger behavior, airports can increase loyalty by providing the right message at the right time to the right customers. They can ease pressure on the ground by putting services and information in the palm of the user’s hand, lessening the need for total service fulfillment at the point of sale.
Empowering passengers with maps, wait times, walk times, etc., will enhance passenger flow and allow airports to better manage the day of travel. And, last but certainly not least, by getting more passengers to download their apps, airports can generate ad revenue from local retailers and concessions.
Mobile phones are the primary tool with which passengers experience air travel. They can empower travelers to make decisions based on real-time information, guide them along a seamless, hassle-free journey by sophisticated concierge applications, such as flight status, traffic and nearest parking, security wait times, nearby amenities, retail coupons, bag status and reclaim information, and much more.
SITA has developed several Day of Travel APIs. One of which - our Flight Information API - allows airports to personalize their connection with passengers. It includes flight data, gate status, and bag reclaim. It utilizes data from many airports and presents it in a common format in one location, www.developer.aero. By hosting it here, we’re making accurate, timely data available to developers who wish to build apps that passengers can trust.
> View the Flight Information API