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SITA survey portrays UK travelers as high adopters of self-service technology

Research published today by IT provider SITA shows that UK airline passengers are among the highest users of technology to manage their travel experience. When it comes to booking their flight, 94% of UK passengers use self-service options and 70% checked in for their flight on a mobile, PC or kiosk, compared to 57% of passengers globally.

One of the reasons for the higher use of self-service technologies among UK passengers could be down to a greater proportion of UK respondents having flown with low cost carriers (LCCs). Whether these passengers were personally motivated to use technology or were strongly encouraged by the carriers’ rules, the results of SITA’s survey show that they were happy to do so. This is particularly true at the booking and check-in stages, where around 90% of passengers rated the experience as positive.

SITA’s research also shows that even though UK passengers are happy to use technology, the majority (62%) consider themselves ‘careful planners’ who like to carry printed documents and welcome interaction with airline agents to confirm everything is on track and going to plan.

Dave Bakker, SITA president, Europe, said, “We have taken a close look at the types of passengers in the UK and examined their emotions to get a clear view of passenger behaviors throughout the journey. Across the board, UK passengers have embraced technology in their journey and are very happy using it.

“Our research has revealed that UK passengers are careful planners and many of them are also willing to pay extra for services that will enhance their travel experience. Airlines and airports in the UK have the opportunity to increase satisfaction levels by using technology to deliver the peace of mind and extra services that these passengers want.”

SITA’s survey was based on 309 passengers traveling through nine international airports across the UK, which in total represent 83% of UK passenger traffic. It also included interviews and observations of passengers at UK airports to assess how they use technology and their emotions when doing so. The analysis showed four different personas or types of travelers:

• Careful planner.
• Independent and hyper-connected.
• Pampered.
• Open-minded adventurer.

UK passengers are predominantly ‘careful planners’ with 62% identifying themselves this way. Some 16% thought of themselves as an ‘open-minded adventurer’ and 15% identified themselves as ‘pampered’ travelers who are willing to pay extra for the services that will enhance their journey. Overall UK passengers are happy; 79% exhibited positive emotions throughout the journey with high peaks when they used mobile devices for booking flights (93%) and check-in (86%).

For further details on SITA’s research into the UK air passenger click here.

October 8, 2015


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