“Flying into the future” Report: Mobile and web to drive air travel experience

Posted on February 15, 2013 09:34 am

SITA, the world’s leading air transport communication and IT solution specialist, has released a report “Flying into the Future”. The report has predicted the way passengers buy travel services and use self-service options along their journey will be altered radically in the next two years. According to the report, there will be dramatic change in the way people travel could happen over the next two years largely driven by information technology innovation increasingly embraced by airlines, airports and passengers. The high use of mobile devices and social media will lead airlines and airports to deliver real service and operational improvements. SITA’s worldwide survey shows four major IT trends that will shape the travel experience, from how people book flights to how they interact with airlines and airports during the journey.

The way passengers buy travel will change and by 2015, both airlines and airports expect the web and the mobile phone to be the top two sales channels. The report says that passengers are asking for personalized buying experience, and so far the industry is responding. There are several airlines with travel app that alerts fliers to airfare deals from their hometowns to cities where their friends live and this proves that passengers will take more control in coming years. The report predicts that by 2015, close to 90% of airlines will offer mobile check-in, up from the 50% today. Passengers will use 2D boarding passes or contactless technology such as Near Field Communications on their phones at different stages of their journey, such as at boarding gates, fast-track security zones and to access premium passenger lounges.The report also concludes that customer services will become more mobile and social and in about three years, 9 out of 10 airlines and airports will provide flight updates using smartphone apps.

The industry is also exploring apps to improve the customer experience and roaming service employees will personalize the customer experience to provide airport, flight and hotel information to passengers. The reports add there are several airports with apps that help passengers plan their journeys to and from the airport, track their flights, access terminal maps and reserve parking spots before they arrive. The passenger experience will improve thanks to better business intelligence and more than 80% of airports and airlines will invest in business intelligence solutions in the next three years. The report predicts that most will focus on improving customer service and satisfaction, often through personalized services. Some airlines could also end up researching on their customers through social media in an effort to better understand them and then integrate the information into their business intelligence programmes to improve loyalty.

Contador Harrison