Air transport, SITA: technology increases passenger satisfaction

More and more passengers decide to rely on touchless technologies and mobile phones to fly: this is what emerges from the Passenger IT Insights 2022 by SITA, a global supplier of technology for air transport. Unveiled today, the report shows how the pandemic has also accelerated the digitization of air travel and the willingness of travelers to adopt digital, mobile and touchless solutions. However, the results highlight that health checks are a sore point that has slowed the automation of travel processes (end-to-end), so much so that in the first quarter of 2022, despite some use of technology at this stage, more than half of passengers researched the requirements for health checks and preferred to submit documentation manually. Uncertainty about health requirements and travel rules has likely led travelers to seek greater interaction with airline personnel at the start of travel, in the stages of check-in, tagging and baggage drop-off.

Passengers satisfied with baggage claim

The greater the use of technology during the journey, the more passengers were found to have a higher degree of satisfaction: the survey shows, in fact, that 87% of travelers experience positive emotions regarding identity control, with an increase 11% compared to 2016, the same is true for 84% of passengers who express satisfaction during baggage claim, with an increase of 9%. These are also the areas where technology adoption has increased the most, thanks to cell phones and automated gates, with half of passengers now also receiving real-time information on baggage delivery. The biometric identity is also appreciated, given that passengers gave this solution a vote of 7.3 out of 10 (where 10 represents maximum comfort), proving that travelers after the pandemic would like to simplify some stages of the journey.

In 2023 we want to fly more

While the recovery tries to get faster and more steady, the survey shows that passengers in 2023 want to fly more than before the pandemic, forecasting an estimated 2.93 flights per passenger over the year for business travel and 3.90 for free time. In assessing whether to fly or not, the main obstacles are the price of tickets, health risks and geopolitical risks. Sustainability is a further deciding factor: around half of passengers would appreciate airports and airlines implementing new IT solutions to support sustainability, such as monitoring the airport’s environmental performance to reduce emissions and optimizing flight routes. flight to reduce fuel consumption. Almost all passengers would pay 11% more than the ticket price on average to offset the carbon emissions of the flight.

SITA CEO: “Demand is picking up”

“It is exciting – said SITA CEO David Lavorel – to see that demand is recovering and is even exceeding pre-pandemic levels, not only for leisure but also for business travel. We are seeing that travel ‘technological’ are becoming a reality, demonstrating that the air transport sector is aiming decisively at the digitalization of travel processes and all necessary operations. Furthermore, in order to have a more comfortable and smooth journey, we see that passengers are more and more favorable, during the entire duration of the journey, to the use of technologies on mobile phones and those that do not require contact. IT solutions – he concluded – are today fundamental for the resumption of air transport and essential for a post-digital travel pandemic”.

The new services of SITA

In line with the main needs expressed by travelers, SITA has expanded its portfolio of services with SITA Flex-as-a-Service, a new generation platform that allows airlines to offer passengers a fully mobile experience, guaranteeing them the flexibility to respond quickly to the changing needs of travelers, and with Swift Drop – part of SITA Smart Path -, a self-service baggage delivery solution developed with Alstef Group and integrated with SITA’s TS6 kiosks, to significantly improve baggage handling from the moment they are placed on the conveyor belt, identifying overweight or oversized baggage in seconds.