Posted on: 29 September 2014 by Mark Howells
Results from the 9th annual ‘Passenger IT trends survey’ published by SITA have revealed that passengers are more tech-savvy than ever, with many wanting to make use of yet more mobile services from gate-to-gate.97% of the 6,277 passengers surveyed carry a smartphone, tablet or laptop when flying, and one in five travels with all three electronic devices at once! However, interestingly only half of the respondents seem to desire tech which would enhance their in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC)
capabilities. 56% say they would use in-flight internet to access IFE on their personal devices, and 54% want to be able to check emails, send texts and make phone-calls in the air.
From the results, it looks as though passengers are adopting the use of mobile technology on the ground far more quickly than in-flight. A huge 76% of participants said they were already making use of airline apps, even though only 43% of those felt the apps definitely improved their journey.
72% of those who responded said they were willing to share personal information in order to receive more personalised services, aided by new technology such as iBeacons (mobile tracking devices positioned throughout the airport). 53% of passengers want customised alerts about any delays sent directly to their phones and 57% want airport maps and directions.
Half those surveyed would like to use their smartphone for boarding, but an overwhelming majority are happy for airport and airline staff to use technology to aid passengers both on the ground and in the air: 77% said they would be comfortable with the presence of google glass and smartwatches.
Information sharing isn’t so popular when it comes to ancillary revenue, however, with less than a third of passengers wanting to receive personalised retail offers, and only 40% saying they would use in-flight broadband to purchase duty free goods using their personal devices.
No wonder airports and airlines are investing heavily in mobile technology, with nearly 100% of passengers having access to the marketplace, and with Virgin Atlantic saying they’re already testing technology which identifies a passenger by their heartbeat, who knows what next year’s survey will uncover.
The 2014 Passenger IT Trends Survey was carried out on passengers travelling through the world’s top 30 airports spread across 15 countries worldwide, which account for 76% of total global passenger traffic.