Uptake of automated passport control more than doubles in 2018

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Research by air transport technology specialist SITA has revealed that 44% of passengers used automated passport control kiosks in 2018, more than double the 21% recorded in 2017.

The 2019 Passenger IT Insights report, co-sponsored by Air Transport World, examines whether or not technology contributed to a smoother passenger experience at each stage of the journey.

At passport control, a traditional pain point of the journey, SITA found that passengers were 3.85% more satisfied when they used self-service eGates to verify their ID, compared to those using agent-assisted controls. These technology users had a satisfaction rate of 8.36 out of 10.

Matthys Serfontein, president, Air Travel Solutions, SITA, said, “One of the standout findings of our report this year is that at every point in the journey, where passengers use technology, the rate of satisfaction is higher.

“Airlines and airports can see the benefit of their technology investments in making it easy for passengers, every step of the way. Over the years, booking, check-in and bag drop have increasingly become automated and passengers like it.

“Interestingly, this year the report shows how introducing automated passport controls, in collaboration with government and border agencies, also increases passenger satisfaction.”

Automated gates for boarding are another success for the industry and its passengers. Not only do they speed up the processing of passengers, but they support more efficient operations and faster turnarounds. Again, SITA’s Insights show that satisfaction is 2.2% higher when passengers scan their own documents to board.

“Today, we have our Smart Path solution at airports around the world, from Australia to the Americas, which uses biometrics to automate the journey,” added Serfontein.

“Across the board we have found that passengers are keen to use the biometric self-service process, when given a choice, over 90% of travelers typically opt in. Actions speak louder than words and it’s becoming very clear from our Smart Path implementations that people like using biometrics for easy travel.”

SITA found that, when it comes to verifying their identity, 59% of passengers are ‘very willing’ to use their mobile devices to verify their identity, with a further 33% open to the idea.

While proving your identity using a mobile device is not an option widely available today, with nine out of 10 passengers potentially welcoming this service, airlines and airports can be confident when moving to mobile services for ID identification.

The key findings of SITA’s report are based on a survey of passengers from 20 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa, representing over 70% of global passenger traffic.

To download a copy of the full report, click here.

Visit SITA at booth 5010 during Passenger Terminal Expo, on March 26, 27 and 28, 2019, in London. Register for your free entry pass here.

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Dan joined Passenger Terminal World in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As assistant editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editors with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest aviation news, Dan can be found apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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