Mobile’s potential underused by passengers

October 16, 2013


Some 75 per cent of airline passengers carry smart phones, but they’re not exactly embracing all the benefits these devices can deliver, according to the 2013 SITA/Air Transport World Passenger IT Trends Survey.


The aviation technology company states less than five per cent of passengers actually take advantage of mobile services for uses such as check-in and booking.


SITA says 78 per cent of passengers concerns are about usability, as well as device limitations, as reasons for not employing more mobile technology when they travel.


“Passengers are ready, but remain at the edge of really ‘going mobile,’” says SITA CEO Francesco Violante in a prepared release.


Violante believes going to the heart of the problem is the best solution. “Improving usability and utilizing the unique capabilities of smart phones is the key to increase usage,” says the SITA chief.

Violante says, “Technology has become an indispensable travel tool for the vast majority of today’s passengers.” 

The survey shows a full 90 per cent of passengers say technology has helped them while traveling. It’s just the range of capabilities passengers choose to employ, which is what’s lagging.

SITA believes the ease with which passengers can perform more complex travel tasks holds the key to unlocking the power of mobile digital devices.

“Airlines and airports that recognize this, and provide passengers with easy-to-use mobile services that improve the travel experience, will enjoy higher adoption rates and passenger satisfaction,” said Violante


SITA says a significant 69 per cent of those responding to the survey book travel online via a website. 20 per cent, use airport kiosks to check in on the day they travel.


Among the services flyers desire on their mobile devices? 63 per cent answer that they’d definitely use their mobile to search flights; 58 per cent say they’d check for the status of their flight. However, survey respondents are less certain they’d actually make the plunge and purchase a ticket on their mobile. A mere 37 per cent are prepared to go that far.


The survey was conducted among 2,489 passengers from more than 70 countries, a mix of both business and leisure flyers. The 2013 Passenger IT Trends Survey was carried out at a half-dozen airports: Abu Dhabi International, Beijing Capital, Chhatrapati Shivaji International in Mumbai, Frankfurt International, GRU Sao Paulo International and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International.