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South Korean passengers slow to adopt mobile and self-service technologies

Airline passengers in South Korea are less likely to use smartphones along their journey than travelers in other parts of the world, despite the fact that 98% carry a smartphone. That is according to the results of travel technology provider SITA’s 2016 Passenger IT Trends Survey.

The survey, which was conducted across multiple international airports in South Korea representing 93% of South Korean travelers, shows that unlike the rest of the world, airline passengers in the country are not yet fully embracing self-service technology. On average less than half (48%) use self-service where it is available on the steps of their journey, compared with a global average of 55%.

However, the survey indicates that change is coming. The desire and expectation to use self-service is expected to rise 22% over the coming year. When it comes to services on their mobile phones, passengers’ most popular demand is for bag update notifications, with 73% saying they would definitely use them.

Ilya Gutlin, SITA president, Asia Pacific, said, “South Korea appears to be in the earlier stages of transformation for using technology for the airline and airport experience.

“This will emerge as the younger generation looks to technology, low-cost carriers encourage the ‘do-it-yourself’ travel experience, and increased availability of free wi-fi encourages mobile usage by the cost-conscious passenger. These are exciting times for the airline passenger experience in Korea.”

Each country is unique, but SITA’s global research shows that passengers are happier when using technology along their journey. At the points of the journey that self-service is available, people tend to exhibit positive emotions. Lower levels of self-service mirror a lower level of positive emotions. In Korea, 80% of passengers have positive emotions across the whole journey. Globally the average is 85%, with some other Asian countries topping 90%.

September 7, 2016


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