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Airlines to invest in programs to improve personalization

Technology investments by airlines have made a big difference to the travel experience, but up to now much of that has been based on a one-size-fits-all approach. Personalisation opportunities for passengers are still fairly limited, offered by less than 20% of airlines. However, there are indications that many airlines are starting to address personalization by offering passengers a growing list of technology-based options to tailor their travel both at the airport and during the flight. In fact, 82% of airlines will be investing some resources to improve personalisation over the next three years.

In particular, personalization of the journey has been given a kick start by the strong adoption of smartphones, which allows anytime, anywhere interaction with passengers. Over 75% of airlines plan major programs to deliver passenger services through smartphones in the next three years.

Such is the focus on mobile that during that time over five times as many airlines (67%) will offer a highly personalized smartphone booking experience compared to today.

Smartphone apps will offer personalized options before and during travel.

airlines personalization

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Flight discovery is already a well established mobile-based service, but information updates relating to baggage and customer service apps that can resolve travel issues will also become more common with 64% of airlines expecting to offer the service by 2018.

At the airport

Kiosks and beacons will also play a part in delivering a personalized journey within the airport. Passengers, for instance, will be able to download content for the flight, including books and films, from media kiosks to their tablets or smartphones. More than one fifth (22%) of airlines are expecting to offer this service by 2018.

Also in its infancy is a ‘virtual concierge’ for passengers delivering airport shopping to gates and lounges. Around one in five airlines plans to introduce such a service over the next three years.

These are the results of SITA’s Airline IT Trends Survey, conducted in association with Airline Business.

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