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NEWS Last modified on November 12, 2014

Mexican passengers using technology to enhance experience, SITA survey finds

Air passengers in Mexico are increasingly using smartphones and mobile technology to enhance their travel experience, according to a new survey by air transport IT specialist SITA.

The 2014 SITA/Air Transport World Passenger Survey reports 89% of Mexican passengers carry a smartphone with them with they travel - compared to the global average of 81% - and they are looking for ways to use mobile technology throughout their journeys.

The survey queried approximately 1,300 passengers across the Americas region, reports that check-in via smartphone apps is poised to nearly double in Mexico over the next two to three years.

Today, 31% of passengers use this technology, but 61% say they will use it more in the future.

Use of mobile boarding passes in Mexico is also set to increase significantly with 76% of passengers saying they will use them in the future, compared to 54% today.

And 58% of Mexican travellers said they would use smartphones more in the future to buy airline tickets and other travel-related services, compared to a regional average of 48%.

Speaking at the Airports Council International Latin American-Caribbean (ACI-LAC) Annual Assembly in Cancun, Alex Covarrubias, vice president, sales, SITA Latin America, says: “SITA’s survey highlights the positive influence that mobile technology is having on Mexican passengers’ travel experiences.

“While passengers have already begun embracing mobile apps, we expect to see significant growth in these areas in the next two to three years as passengers become more familiar with them and airline and airport apps continue to improve.”

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Smartphone apps improving pre-flight experience

Smartphone apps have already improved the pre-flight experience for around one-third of passengers in Mexico, reports the survey.

On average 84% of smartphone users in Mexico have used airline apps and 74% have used airport apps for travel applications such as airport information and bookings.

Around 75% of Mexican passengers are using smartphone apps to access real-time flight information, and 71% say they will use them more in the future, compared to an Americas average of 63%.

Smartphone apps are particularly appealing for directions and way finding, with 79% of Mexican passengers surveyed saying they would definitely use these apps in the future.

Seventy-one percent said they would also definitely use their smartphones for access to boarding gates, airline lounges and other areas.

Passengers in Mexico say their top two priorities for investments are in-flight wireless and better real-time flight information, and they showed a strong preference toward self-service technology, with around 70% of passengers said they access websites regularly via a personal computer to view flight information.

Around 93% said they had used online check-in, compared to the global average of 48%, while 34% of passengers said they had used self-serve check-in kiosks, with 46% saying they would definitely use them in the future.

An additional 90% of Mexican passengers said they would definitely use automated boarding gates, compared to a regional average of 79%.

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