Digital self-service and connectivity key for air travel passengers

Peter Terlato 20 October 2016

wifi on plane

We're hanging out for tech-driven aviation advances.

Flying can be a great experience, but there's always room for improvement. A recent global study has revealed the most prevalent demands of airline passengers, with a focus on better utilising and expanding technological developments.

The International Air Transport Association's (IATA) 2016 Global Passenger Survey found the following were the highest priorities for aviation passengers:

  • Arriving at the airport ready to fly
  • Passing through security and border control once without having to remove personal items
  • Uniquely-tailored travel options - passengers are prepared to offer their personal data to access them
  • Having the same connectivity in the air as on the ground

These appeals all call for technology to improve the travel experience. Passengers would like to be able to complete many of the traditional airport processes prior to arrival.

This is evidenced by the fact that the number of passengers who checked-in online and used a mobile boarding pass increased from 69% in 2015 to 71% in 2016.

A third (33%) of the survey's respondents said they would prefer to self-tag their bags, while an even greater proportion (39%) would be keen to use electronic bag tags. A little over a quarter (26%) want their luggage picked up from home and delivered to the airport and just under a quarter (24%) would like to be able to drop off their luggage away from the airport.

Bag tracking was also desirable among the majority (61%) of respondents.

What irritates flying passengers the most? Airport security and immigration processes. The diversity of security screening procedures at different airports, coupled with the hassle of having to remove personal items, such as jewelry, shoes, phones and laptops were the biggest grievances.

Two-fifths (40%) of respondents said they select their travel route based on the quality of their airport experience.

If you thought information privacy was a concern, think again. 85% of airport and airline passengers said they would be willing to provide additional personal data in return for a more customised travel experience.

Passengers also want to remain connected in the air. More than half (51%) of all respondents would prefer to use their own devices to access entertainment options. If you're wondering if your airline offers in-flight Wi-Fi, check out our comprehensive list.

Flight delays and cancellations can be troublesome and costly. Some Australian airports are worse than others when it comes to arrival and departure efficiency. In contrast, some airlines are rated much more favourably than others in terms of service and comfort.

Picture: Shutterstock

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