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7 November 2010

Nearly 100% Rise in Passenger Self-Service Check-In in Johannesburg

The SITA / Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service survey of the world’s leading airports reveals an almost 100% rise in self-service check-in among travellers passing through OR Tambo Airport, Johannesburg. A 75% growth in demand for off-airport bag drop-off was also recorded.

The survey shows that self-service check-in grew to 17% of survey respondents in Johannesburg compared to 9% in 2009. While this usage rate lags behind the global rate of 67% there is significant willingness to use kiosk check-in (71%), web check-in (54%), and mobile check-in (54%).

Across all airports surveyed, almost half of the respondents who checked in at a desk rather than through self-service did so because of the need to check-in a bag. Overall, the survey found that 75% of respondents would be interested in off-airport bag drop-off. While only 34% of the total surveyed would pay for such a service, 67% of those passing through Johannesburg would be willing to do so. The survey sample in Johannesburg included 54% business travellers.

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. Along with OR Tambo Airport, it includes Beijing International Airport; Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta; Frankfurt; Mumbai International; Moscow Domodedovo; and Sao Paulo Guarulhos, Brazil.

The popularity of online booking continues to grow at Johannesburg. Almost 70% of interviewed passengers book their flights online when they can, and on the day of travel over 40% of passengers at OR Tambo had used this facility. Passengers are also willing to use more self-service, for example, interest in using automatic boarding gates has increased significantly from 45% last year to 61% in this year’s survey.

Rob Watkins, SITA regional vice president for Africa, said: “SITA is pleased to see that self-service check-in at Johannesburg has almost doubled in the last year as there was heavy investment in SITA check-in technology across South African airports in advance of this year’s very successful World Cup tournament. South African travellers are tech savvy and we expect there will be increasingly rapid uptake of self-service technology as there is a great awareness of the benefits.”

The survey data is extracted from interviews with 2,490 passengers travelling with 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%), others (25%).

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