It's obvious that passengers like self-service and want more of it. IATA and SITA surveys show that the vast majority of passengers would like to book their travel through a website and check in online. Most also want self-service bag drop and will happily tag their own bags. And nearly all are interested in automated immigration gates.
Clearly, the demand is there - and it's increasing. Luckily, so too are the means.
IATA's Fast Travel
Through our Simplifying the Business Fast Travel program, IATA is providing industry leadership. It delivers genuine and permanent benefits to all parties - passengers, airlines and airports.
Our aim is that by 2020, 80% of global passengers will have access to a complete suite of self-service services based on IATA industry standards. Six key areas will be addressed:
- Bags ready-to-go
- Document check
- Flight rebooking
- Missing bag recovery
These areas will deliver savings of US$ 2.1 billion per year. What's more, over 25% of eligible travelers will be able to benefit from the convenience and simplicity of Fast Travel. It's a major step forward and a radical change in passenger processing.
For example, allowing passengers to report a missing bag via a self-service channel reduces their stress while providing the airline more information. It allows the airline to make better use of a baggage claim agent's expertise and time. And it helps the airport make the most effective use of its physical infrastructure. Ultimately, it will save the industry an estimated US$ 575 million each year.
In step with IATA's Fast Travel and Smart Security programs, SITA is delivering an increasing number of self-service solutions. Indeed, IATA's and SITA's agendas remain aligned.
As we celebrate 100 years of commercial aviation, it's important to remember that radical change will continue - indeed, it is accelerating.