32% of passengers are anxious about flight cancellations when booking, SITA finds

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For its 2023 Passenger IT Insights report, SITA surveyed more than 6,000 passengers across 27 countries and found that 32% of them cited anxiety around flight cancellations when booking their next flight.

Preliminary findings from the report reveal that nearly 20% of passengers surveyed cited concerns about congestion in the airport and pointed to high airfares. This was fueled by past experience: 56% of respondents said they had experienced delays or cancellations and 48% had faced long airport queues.

Yet the report also found that travelers intend to fly more than ever. On average, passengers expect to take 4.7 flights in 2023 compared with 4.2 flights in 2019. According to the report, this is driven mainly by frequent flyers. Those planning more than 10 flights in 2023 have increased from 6% of passengers in 2019 to 10% in 2023.

David Lavorel, CEO of SITA, said, “It is encouraging for our industry that passengers want to travel and want to travel better in light of some of the challenges airports and airlines have experienced with congestion in the past year. We cannot dismiss the fact that the overall experience of air travel is an essential element in passengers’ decision making. With passengers indicating a clear intention to travel more this year, the industry is well advised to address their concerns, deploying, for example, increased automation.”

Lavorel also highlighted that earlier research from SITA indicated that airport and airline chief information officers (CIOs) were taking this seriously by investing in digital transformation. The industry’s IT spending is projected to continue its steady year-on-year growth trend since 2020 to support digitalization and automation. Last year, airline and airport IT spending rose to an estimated US$37bn and US$6.8bn, respectively.

For more key passenger experience updates from the passenger terminal industry, click here.

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As the latest addition to the UKi Media & Events team, Elizabeth combines research skills from her English degree with a keen interest in the meteorological and transportation industries. Having taken the lead in student and startup publications, she has gained experience in editing online and print titles on a wide variety of topics. In her role as Assistant Editor, Elizabeth creates new and topical content on the pioneering technologies in transportation, logistics and meteorology.

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