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The future is personal in air travel

Location: London
24 February 2015

 Are passengers, airports and airlines aligned?

The ‘connected passenger’ has become a reality, with 97% of airline passengers carrying at least one personal electronic device. But global usage rates indicate passengers have been slow to adopt new airline and airport mobile services when traveling. Deeper analysis however, shows that some industry players are bucking the trend and achieving high levels of usage. This is according to The Future is Personal, the latest industry report from SITA, the leading global IT provider to the air transport industry.

SITA’s industry insights are based on in-depth research directly with more than 6,000 passengers; carried out at 106 airports across the world which handled 2.35 billion passengers last year and with airlines that together carried more than half the world’s passenger traffic. The research shows airlines have made significant investments in mobile services over the past four years as smartphone adoption surged and the majority now enable passengers to buy tickets, check-in and access flight information via smartphone apps. Meanwhile half of the worlds’ airports also provide flight information via apps.

Still global rollout and adoption is proving to be slower and more complex than was anticipated. Half of passengers are keen to use their mobiles to find their way around the airport, access lounges or the aircraft, provide identification at checkpoints, or make payments. The reality is though, that despite these and other services, including mobile check-in and boarding passes provided by airlines, 24% of passengers have not yet used travel apps at all on their journey.

Nigel Pickford, Director Market Insight, SITA, said: “At a glance, airlines and airports might be discouraged by the slower than expected global usage rates but this hides the huge success that some airlines and airports are experiencing. Our analysis has shown that the successful ’outliers’, be they airports or airlines, are focusing on providing excellent customer service experiences that their passengers want. They are harnessing new technologies to give personalized services at the right moment of the journey.”

SITA’s report details the desire for passengers to experience personalized services throughout their journey and explains how personalization is now expected both on the ground and in-flight. This era of continuous engagement means that passengers also expect to be kept informed during periods of disruption and given the ability to manage the changing circumstances of their journey.

The Future is Personal combines SITA’s global research with commentary and cases studies from airports and airlines that have focused particularly on using mobile services to improve the passenger experience to great success. Those featured include Alaska Airlines, easyJet, Emirates, JetBlue, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, SWISS, Cork Airport, Dubai Airports, Frankfurt Airport, Miami Airport, and Toronto Pearson International.

For further details download SITA’s full report - The Future is Personal.

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