Air Transport World

SITA/ATW 2010 passenger self-service survey 'give us more': more passengers want to use more self-service technology.

WHEN AIRLINES FIRST BEGAN OFFERING SELF service options such as online booking and kiosk check-in, passengers initially were unsure. But they now view it as a given for the first step of an air travel journey (booking tickets) and are rapidly increasing their use of such technologies for the second stage (checking in). In addition, they are expressing an eagerness to adopt self-service "at all steps of the journey" including clearing security checkpoints and boarding aircraft.


So concludes SITA after analyzing the results of its "2010 Passenger Self-Service Survey." A leading provider of IT business solutions and communications services to the airline industry, SITA exclusively shared the results of its fifth annual survey with ATW in a briefing at its US headquarters here. The 2010 survey was conducted during the spring at five of the airports used for last year's endeavor--Atlanta, Moscow Domodedovo, Sao Paulo Guarulhos, Mumbai and Johannesburg--plus two new to the survey this year, Frankfurt and Beijing. Some 2,490 passengers traveling on 106 different airlines were interviewed at airport gates before boarding their flights. Around two-thirds were leisure travelers and more than 60% were flying on domestic flights. About 12% were flying on LCCs while 47% were transit passengers.

SITA Director-Portfolio Marketing Catherine Stam, who studied and analyzed this year's results, says the survey confirmed a trend that is increasingly evident: "Passengers have evolved from caution with self-service technology just a few years ago to saying, 'Can you give us more?'" She notes that 84% of surveyed passengers said they "currently book their flights online when they can ... The airline websites are being used a lot more."

In addition to booking flight tickets, travelers are reserving rental cars and hotel rooms via airline websites, the survey found. "Self-service channels also are becoming ancillary revenue channels," Stam comments. "Passengers' willingness to use self-service technology is very high . . . The use of self-service check-in is still growing and passengers are showing an increasing willingness to use self-service options when available, including for security and border control as well as boarding ... Airlines should really look at multichannel[self-service interaction with passengers]. They can't focus their efforts on one interface. ... Passengers are behaving in a very versatile way in terms of [interacting with airlines via multiple] interfaces."

Most important considerations when arranging trip  Weight average

Flight schedule                                               55%

Price                                                         47%

Online booking                                                42%

Airline safety record                                         29%

Airline reputation                                            28%

Punctuality of flight                                         24%

Most direct itinerary                                         22%

Previous experience of travel                                 19%

Airline ground and in-flight service                          17%

Frequent flyer programme                                      15%

Preference for a specific airport                             13%

Speed of the booking process                                  11%

Service offered by airport                                    10%

Alternative modes of transportation with less                  9%
environmental impact

Note: Table made from bar graph. … 

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