Self-service check-in rose last year at Russia’s busiest airport, Domodedevo International, Moscow, and 33.9% of all passengers who knew self-service was available expressed a preference for using it, according to the latest SITA/Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service Survey.
Actual self-service check-in rates rose from 1.8% in 2008 to 11.8% in 2009, with a particularly strong rise in internet check-in, which accounted for 9.2%, according to the survey (which includes Domodedevo International for the second successive year). The SITA/Air Transport World PSS takes an in-depth look at the attitudes and habits of a representative sample of the 232 million passengers who use six of the world’s busiest airports across five continents: Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta; Mumbai International; Charles de Gaulle, Paris; Moscow Domodedovo; Sao Paulo Guarulhos, Brazil; and OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg.
Globally, the survey found that the main reasons for not using self-service check-in options were: bags needed to be checked-in (29.6%); prefer the human interface (23.9%); and no queue at the check-in desk (15.1%). Among passengers at Domodedovo, the fact that there was no queue at the check-in desk was the number one reason for not using the self-service check-in option.
The survey highlights the potential for the growth of online booking in the Russian market and reveals that there was actually a small percentage drop in the numbers of people travelling through Domodedovo who booked their flights online last year, down from 29.1% in 2008 to 25.6% in 2009. Domodedovo International had the lowest level of online booking among the six airports surveyed, which had a combined global average of 63.7%.
This may be linked to a simple lack of awareness among a significant proportion of survey respondents, 36.8% of whom claimed online booking was not available for their flight while a further 3.1% were simply not sure.
The impact of this uncertainty may also be coming through even among those who did know that online booking was available as their preference for online booking dropped from 51% in 2008 to 42.6% last year. It is also significant that 59.5% of survey respondents reported that self-service check-in was not available for their flight.
Ilya Burkin, SITA senior sales manager for Russia, said: “Self-service is clearly in the early days of adoption in Russia but the potential for growth is huge. We know that passengers who have had that vital first self-service experience have a very high willingness to continue using the technology. This is something the air transport industry in Russia needs to build on. There are positive signs around the growth in web check-in.
Passengers are open to new technology but we have to improve how we demonstrate the benefits of it. It’s very promising that 32% of Domodedovo passengers would like to have electronic copies of their boarding pass rather than a conventional paper boarding pass.”
Passengers flying on more than 100 different airlines and representing over 80 different nationalities were interviewed during April/June 2009 in this independent survey.