Smartphones fuelling demand for mobile self-boarding at airports

10 October 2012 (Last Updated October 10th, 2012 18:30)

The rise of smartphones is fuelling demand for self-boarding and flight information updates on mobile devices, according to a report by air transport IT company SITA.

The rise of smartphones is fuelling demand for self-boarding and flight information updates on mobile devices, according to a report by air transport IT company SITA.

SITA's latest Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service Survey revealed that 70% of passengers use smartphones, leading to an increase in demand for more self-service and mobile-based offerings during journeys.

SITA CEO Francesco Violante said that nearly everyone surveyed said they would welcome any queue-busting services, with 89% supporting self-boarding as their top technology.

"It is very clear from our IT Trends Surveys earlier this year that airports and airlines are working in the same direction, so we expect to see significant growth in technologies aimed at reducing waiting times," Violante said.

Around two thirds of those surveyed used a self-service channel to check-in, up from around half of those surveyed in 2011, while flight status updates and self-boarding were rated as top self-service technologies by 90% of passengers.

"The number of passengers with smartphones has risen dramatically over the past year from 54% to 70%," Violante said.

"We are already seeing the impact at airports with mobile check-in increasing by one third during this period and as many as 21% of passengers have now used a mobile boarding pass. We're now at the tipping point of explosive growth in mobile services offered to passengers, which will give them more control over their journey and reduce stress."

"The number of passengers with smartphones has risen dramatically over the past year from 54% to 70%."

According to the survey, 62% of surveyed passengers were using social media; the social media statistics are heavily skewed by age, with 80% of travellers between the ages of 18 and 24 using social media, compared to only 39% of passengers aged 55 or above.

Among the respondents, 65% of passengers were willing to receive flight status updates via social media, while 89% of passengers want them on mobiles devices in general.

SITA's report revealed that most passengers are not interested in receiving service promotions or retail offers on their mobiles, although 61% said they would change their mind if they had control over what information they received.

Around 2,500 passengers from more than 70 countries were surveyed as part of SITA's Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service Survey.