The SITA / Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service survey of the world’s leading airports reveals that India’s air travellers lead the world in using airline websites for carbon emissions offsetting with 44% of survey respondents at Mumbai International Airport claiming to do so. By comparison, only 6% did so among those surveyed at Frankfurt.

Mumbai International Airport’s reputation for self-service technology was further enhanced by this year’s survey, which also found that they are among the top three airports, alongside Atlanta and Beijin, when it comes to usage of online booking: when possible, 83% of Indian travellers will book online. After flight schedule, online booking is the second most important consideration now for the Indian traveller.

Self-service check-in rates are also high among passengers interviewed in Mumbai with 36% of surveyed passengers using it on the day. But usage could be higher among those who checked in at a counter as 67% did so because they had a bag to check-in and not all airlines allow online check-in for these passengers.

Baggage is regarded as a challenge even among the 74% of respondents who did check-in online and 83% of Mumbai respondents are enthusiastic about free airport bag drop. At the same time 76% have a positive attitude towards using baggage claim kiosks. Indian travellers have a marked preference for online check-in compared to kiosk check-in.

Indian travellers are also keen to see automation introduced at other points along the passenger journey. At least 54% would prefer an electronic boarding pass to a paper one compared to just 35% globally. There is also considerable support for automated border control and security processing (73%) and a majority would also use automatic boarding gates.

Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA director for India, said: “Passengers in Mumbai are very sophisticated in how they manage their travel plans and this is borne out by their strong embrace of self-service technology. We expect to see further growth in the use of airline websites to book hotels, rent cars, purchase travel insurance and other ancillary services.

“Indian travellers already see the potential of mobile phones as travel accessories and we expect a significant rise in demand for mobile check-in and SMS notifications in the coming years as well as for airline ticket purchasing, modifying bookings to mention a few.”

The 5th annual SITA / Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service survey is an in-depth look at the attitudes and habits of a representative sample of the 287.6 million passengers who use seven leading international airports.

The survey also included Beijing International Airport, Frankfurt, Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta, Moscow Domodedovo, OR Tambo Airport, Johannesburg, and Sao Paulo Guarulhos, Brazil.

The survey data is extracted from interviews with 2,490 passengers travelling on 106 airlines, conducted at the departure gates earlier this year. Main nationalities interviewed were American (17%), Indian (12%), Chinese (12%), Brazilian (11%), German (8%), South African (8%), Russian (7%) and others (25%).