Atlanta airport

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has reported that 75% of passengers used smartphone-based self-service options during the last 12 months, the highest percentage in the US.

The survey revealed that 78% of passengers used smartphones for online check-in and 90% used these for kiosk check-in compared to global rates of 73% and 65% respectively, while 24% used a mobile check-in facility.

SITA North America regional vice president Paul Houghton said: "Atlanta is maintaining its position as a global showcase for the efficient and effective deployment of self-service technology to the benefit of both passengers and airlines."

"The smartphone is beginning to have a significant impact at key points on the passenger journey and this will spur the demand for new self-service options," Houghton said.

The survey reported that 92% of frequent flyers and 83% of business/first class passengers used a smartphone, with 34% having used it for a mobile boarding pass at least once.

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According to the survey, 28% of passengers carrying mobile phones had Bluetooth switched on, a statistic which could support Bluetooth-enabled queue management at the airport.

SITA said that 85% of the smartphone users were willing to know information on gate changes, flight delays and boarding status, 66% were interested in knowing wait times at security.

About 43% were keen to know the time to reach the departure gate, 5% the location of the nearest lounge and 21% opted for smartphones to get information on airport parking.

The survey also revealed that 41% of Atlanta passengers receive flight information by SMS notification, while only 12% were interested in getting shopping information on their mobile phones.

The passengers using smartphones for online bookings rose to 82% in 2011 when compared to 71% in the previous year while the global rate is 57%.

The SITA survey also reported that use of traditional check-in counters is decreasing with only 57% using a bag drop-off counter compared to 42% globally, while 77% of business and first class passengers at Atlanta used a bag drop-off counter.

The survey conducted on 283.5 million passengers passed through six leading airports, including Abu Dhabi International Airport, Beijing International Airport, Frankfurt International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and Sao Paulo Guarulhos.


Image: Atlanta airport has reported the highest rise of smartphone users from 28% to 75% during the last twelve months. Photo: Omoo.