The majority of passengers use their mobile devices to ease their air travel processes, new research has revealed.
The ‘Smart Thinking’ report, by airport IT company SITA, said that more than 50% of travellers use their mobiles while travelling. This includes 72% of people using smartphones to get real-time flight status updates and 88% searching for fares.
And this trend is expected to gather pace in future. According to SITA’s paper, 100% of airlines and 90% of airports are investing in new solutions. By the end of 2016, 61% of airlines will offer baggage status updates, while 79% of airports will provide notifications on such issues as security queues times.
Airlines’ main IT investment priorities were found to be sales & marketing (95%), operational awareness (88%) and passenger experience (82%), while airports selected operational awareness (90%) ahead of passenger experience (85%) and sales & marketing (74%).
But while progress is being made, SITA said many challenges remain in terms of the implementation.
“Our research has clearly shown that the move to smartphone apps and mobile services is well underway,” said Nigel Pickford, director of market insight for SITA. “But… on average the industry is only halfway to achieving best-in-class and further progress is needed.”
Pickford added both airports and airlines need to realise the changes that will impact their business in the coming years and plan for them.
“Though the picture is not perfect now, change is coming. All airlines and 90% of airports are planning to make business intelligence investments in the coming three years. Both face the issue though, that while passengers are very keen to access information about their journey, they are also sensitive about privacy. The smart use of non-intrusive passenger information however will provide benefits to airlines and passengers,” he said.