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Airline passengers want more self-service

10 Oct 2010

A growing number of airline passengers are booking online or using kiosk check-in, and want self-service to apply to other functions such as baggage check-in, security and immigration, switching flights and finding missing luggage, a recent survey shows.

Technology supplier SITA ran the research earlier this year on a single day among a representative sample of 287.6 million people, using seven major airports on five continents. The selected hubs were Atlanta, Beijing, Frankfurt, Johannesburg-Tambo, Mumbai, Moscow Domodedovo and Sao Paulo.

Seventy one percent of the travellers, who participated in the survey, had checked-in online or at automated airport kiosks for their flights. Check-in using mobile phones, however, was much less common, with only 3 percent of those surveyed taking advantage of the convenience.

Geneva-based SITA recorded a sharp increase in passengers using airline websites to book hotels. This was up 21 percent of those surveyed in 2009 to 38 percent this year. More also used airline websites to rent cars – up from 19 percent to 35 percent, as well as for other services such as buying travel insurance, bus and train tickets and ordering duty-free items in advance, SITA said.

Passengers in Asia and North America proved to be the most enthusiastic about carbon footprint offsetting through airline websites. At Mumbai airport, 44 perecent of respondents said they backed the initiative; at the Beijing airport, it was 35 percent; and at Atlanta airport, it was 27 percent. This was in contrast to the 6 percent at Frankfurt airport.

For more details of the 5th SITA/Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service Survey, visit www.sita.aero

Margie T Logarta

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