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NEWS Last modified on October 2, 2013

SITA: Passengers say ‘yes’ to technology but mobile usage still low

The 2013 SITA Passenger IT Trends Survey has found that 90% of travellers say technology helps them on their journey, but using a smart phone for travel services has yet to go mainstream.

This is despite 76% of passengers carrying a smart phone, outstripping the global average of 40%.

The survey was carried out with a sample of 2,489 passengers from Abu Dhabi International; Beijing Capital International; Chhatrapati Shivaji International; Frankfurt; Guarulhos International; and Hartsfield-Jackson International airports.

Although tech-savvy passengers express a wish to utilise mobile services, such as check-in and booking, less than 5% actually do; with 78% citing usability concerns and device limitations as their reasons.

Francesco Violante, SITA’s CEO, stated: “Technology has become an indispensible tool for the vast majority of today’s passengers.

“Our survey this year has seen 90% of them say that technology has helped them when travelling.”

  

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He continued: “Passengers are ready but remain at the edge of really ‘going mobile’. Improving usability and utilising the unique capabilities of smart phones is the key to increase usage.

“Airlines and airports that recognise this, and provide passengers with easy-to-use mobile services that improve the travel experience, will enjoy higher adoption rates and passenger satisfaction.”

The survey found that 69% of respondents booked their travel through a website and 20% used a kiosk for check-in.

These figures are in line with last year’s survey, suggesting the first wave of self-service technology is a firmly established part of the travel experience.

SITA says the next wave will be the widespread adoption of mobile services.

Currently, 63% of passengers would use their mobile for flight search and 58% for flight status. This compares with 29% who would definitely want to receive promotions and 37% who would buy tickets on their device.

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