Passengers typically want a stress-free trip and airlines are deploying more technology-based services to meet that need. In particular, passengers are switching to mobile apps and the web for check-in, which give passengers less stress and more convenience.
This year’s SITA survey indicates 9% of passengers used mobile check-in (smartphone or tablet), double the figure in last year’s survey.
While the traditional airport desk will remain the single most used check-in channel through to 2018, mobile devices will overtake web check-in as the number two choice with 24% of passengers using a mobile device compared to 20% checking in on a laptop or desktop.
Low cost carriers (LCC) are driving the change in behavior. Today the proportion of LCC passengers using mobile check-in (23%) is already close to the predicted global average for all airlines in 2018.
The high growth in mobile usage indicates a desire by passengers to use their own technology for check-in as this is less stressful and gives them more control. Nonetheless, kiosk use will also grow steadily from 12% of passengers using kiosks to check-in to 17% by the end of 2018.
Automatic check-in is also set to more than double over the next three years. Today 22% of airlines have deployed the system checking-in 4% of passengers. By 2018, 68% of carriers will have automatic check-in on some routes with 10% of passengers expected to use it.
Baggage is a stress point for passengers, particularly when there is a long queue for check-in.
Airlines are addressing the frustration by upping bag-drop implementations. Since our last survey the number of carriers offering bag drop has increased from 9% to 17% and is expected to rise to 74% of airlines by 2018.