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Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Published on  06 March by Nigel Pickford , Director, Market Insight and Marketing Operations, SITA
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It’s human curiosity and the need for reassurance which I believe has driven a major technological development in the air transport industry. We now have the power - the Future is Predictable and airlines and airports are investing in it.

Anyone who has traveled with children will cringe when they hear the words “are we there yet?” That incessant query fed by the desire to know when exactly we will arrive at the destination. In fairness, it’s not just the under-10s who have this need to know. As humans, we all want to know when we are going to get there, wherever that may be.

It’s this human curiosity and need for reassurance which I believe has driven a major development in the air transport industry – the use of predictive technology.  Just think of your last trip how many times did you wonder how long will it take me to get to the airport? Is there a delay en route? How long will it take to get through security? Will my flight depart on time? Will it arrive on time? Will my bag make that tight connection I should never have booked? Are we there yet?

We're almost there!

We now have the power to answer all these questions for air travelers using combinations of technologies including business intelligence, cloud computing, cognitive computing and artificial intelligence. The Future is Predictable and airlines and airports are investing in it because travelers want to know.

Developments include answering the baggage questions – Has it been loaded? Did it make the connection? Has it arrived with me? Where can I pick it up?

We know today that 71% of passengers want updates on their mobile devices to tell them where their bag is and over the next few years, two thirds of airlines will send baggage location status updates to mobile devices. 

Another stage of the journey for which passengers crave information and updates is when they have to wait at some sort of checkpoint. Sophisticated technology makes it possible to predict the wait times so that passengers can plan their journey better. Identifying potential future bottlenecks also allows operators to manage resources better and avoid unnecessary delays. The good news for passengers is that providing wait times at security is a priority for 84% of airports. This will help calm the inquiring minds of passengers big and small.

Check out if using our predictive powers means, as an industry, we are there yet. 

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