The use of automated passport checking technology at airports boosted passenger satisfaction twofold in 2018, a report by IT and air transport communications firm SITA has revealed.

The report titled ‘SITA 2019 Passenger IT Insights’ said that 44% of passengers used automated passport control in 2018, up from 21% in 2017.

Travellers were 3.85% more satisfied when they used self-scanning gates to verify their ID at passport control, compared to those using agent-assisted controls.

The report stated that users of the technology had an average satisfaction rate of 8.36 out of ten.

SITA president of air travel solutions Matthys Serfontein said: “One of the standout findings of our report this year is that at every point in the journey, where passengers use technology, the rate of satisfaction is higher.

“Airlines and airports can see the benefit of their technology investments in making it easy for passengers every step of the way.”

“Airlines and airports can see the benefit of their technology investments in making it easy for passengers every step of the way. Over the years, booking, check-in and bag drop have increasingly become automated and passengers like it.

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“Interestingly, this year the report shows how introducing automated passport controls, in collaboration with government and border agencies, also increases passenger satisfaction.”

Separately, automated gates used for boarding not only accelerate the processing of passengers but also support more efficient operations and faster turnarounds.

SITA’s reports indicate that satisfaction is 2.2% higher when passengers scan their own documents to board the aircraft.

Serfontein added: “Today, we have our Smart Path solution at airports around the world, from Australia to the Americas, which uses biometrics to automate the journey. Across the board we have found that passengers are keen to use the biometric self-service process, when given a choice, over 90% of travellers typically opt-in.”

SITA research also shows that 59% of passengers are ‘very willing’ to use their mobiles for ID verification along the journey, with a further 33% ready to use the technology.

The outcomes of SITA’s report are based on a survey conducted on travellers from 20 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.