Editor’s comment: Digital directions

Inflight editor Alexander Preston summarises the latest happenings across IFEC and cabin technology.

According to SITA, the US$50 billion spent in 2018 on IT to support improvements to the passenger journey is bearing fruits this year for airlines and airports.

Its SITA 2019 Air Transport IT Insights report published during this week’s 2019 EURO IT Summit in Lisbon Portugal, shows that 60% of airline CIOs recorded up to a 20% year-on-year improvement in passenger satisfaction.

Matthys Serfontein, SITA president, Air Travel Solutions, stated that: “The increase in airline spend over the past year was driven by the larger airlines, which continue to invest to speed up the pace of digital transformation. Investments in business intelligence and cloud services have emerged as priorities.”

Such sums are necessary given that Travelport’s Global Digital Traveler Research 2019 found that two-thirds (67%) of millennial travellers in the UK now actively consider whether an airline offers a good digital experience when booking a flight.

When booking a flight online, half (52%) of millennial travellers in the UK today want to personalise their experience through add-ons, such as extra legroom and additional baggage allowance. However, when attempting to do so, three-fifths are currently left frustrated by not being able to understand what is included as standard (60%) and not knowing what add-ons are available to them (62%). Two-fifths (39%) also get frustrated when companies don’t remember their preferences.

Nilo Srinivasan, head of Account Management for the United Kingdom at Travelport, said: “Travellers today want more control and transparency when it comes to personalising their trips. The results of our study show the travel industry has work to do here.”


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