The latest SITA/Air Transport World Passenger
Self-Service (PSS) Survey of passenger habits at six leading
airport hubs across five continents has found 20% growth in
adoption of self-service check-in options over the last year and
that passengers are demanding improvements in security procedures
and airport dwell times as they check-in less baggage.
The survey also found that convenience as much
as price is driving online booking which is now close to 100%
availability in mature markets; 63.7% of those questioned in the
survey booked on-line.
Passengers are also spending more through
airline websites on ancillary services such as hotels and car hire
and their numbers are expected to double. As airlines’ websites
become the channel of choice for pre-flight and post-flight
customer services, over 50% of passengers interviewed are now
using airline websites to modify reservations or update frequent
The 4th annual SITA/Air Transport World
Passenger Self-Service (PSS) Survey is an in-depth look at the
attitudes and habits of a representative sample of the 232 million
passengers who use these six leading international airports:
Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta; Mumbai International; Charles de
Gaulle, Paris; Moscow Domodedovo; Sao Paulo Guarulhos, Brazil;
and, or, Tambo Airport, Johannesburg. The data is extracted from
interviews with 2,193 passengers conducted at the departure gates
earlier this year.
The survey found that the top
four steps of the journey passengers would most like to change
are: security screening, 18.2%; dwell time at the airport before
flight departure, 14.8%; in-flight experience, 14.5%; and waiting
for checked baggage on arrival, 9.3%.
Bez, SITA Director, Portfolio Marketing, said, “The survey does
provide good news for the air transport industry, and airlines in
particular, because it proves that self-service has passed a
tipping point in the last 12 months. We have seen a 20% increase
in adoption of self-service check-in options across all these
hubs. It is also significant that this holds true among transit
passengers who exercised the self-service check-in option at over
200 other airports.
“The main obstacles to the
further rise of self-service are check-in baggage which is being
addressed by the industry through revised bag-drop processes, and
the necessity to have access to a printer to acquire a boarding
pass through web check-in. This last issue is being addressed by
the industry through adoption of the mobile Bar Code Boarding Pass
(BCBP) which will allow a BCBP to be sent from the web check-in
interface to the passenger’s mobile phone. In fact, 66% of the
self-service check-in users would prefer an electronic boarding
“In general, we are also
seeing passengers demanding more control of the journey at every
step including baggage management, security screening and dwell
time in the airport,” El Bez added.
The PSS survey also found
that self-service check-in at one of the world’s busiest airports,
Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta, reached a record 83.8% in 2009, up
from 64% in 2008. This is almost double the global weighted
average of 44% across the six airports surveyed which was an
increase from 36% the year before.
was used by 25.6% of departing passengers at Mumbai International
Airport making it by far the most popular self-service option for
Indian passengers. Kiosk check-in is still the most popular
self-service user option at Atlanta (45.8%), Paris (18.9%) and
Johannesburg (8.1%) while web check-in proved the most popular
option with passengers in Moscow (9.2%) and Sao Paulo (6.4%).
Overall there is a very positive attitude among
passengers towards the future use of kiosk check-in (75%) and web
check-in (62.5%) while 44% of passengers are positive towards
proportion of passengers checking in baggage has decreased from
82% in 2007 and 2008, to 75.7% in 2009. The trend is especially
noticeable in locations where airlines are charging passengers
extra for baggage. At the same time, passengers are prepared to
pay for remote baggage check-in services.
what passengers associate with a pleasant trip, the arrival of
check-in baggage promptly and safely has dropped from second place
to fourth place behind: no delays, friendly ground staff and short
queues. It also comes fourth in the passengers’ wish list for
are ready to give confidential data in order to get through the
airport faster. There is 57.8% positive attitude towards
registering with automated border control and security programmes
compared to 48.7% in 2007.
62% of passengers would
like to see shorter queues and security screening was the most
chosen option when asked which step of the journey passengers
would most like to change.
AIRPORT DWELL TIME
A significant portion of those interviewed (14.8%)
would like to improve most their dwell time experience at
airports. Those passengers would like to see the following options
available in the airport before flight departure: improved
internet access capabilities, (45.8%); access to entertainment on
demand from my cell-phone, (15.6%); digital shopping assistant to
find quickly what is interesting to me in the duty free shop,
check-in is still at its infancy, representing 1.8% of the
check-in transactions across the six airports surveyed. There is
an almost 45% positive attitude towards future use of mobile
check-in and other SITA research shows that 80% of airlines are
planning to offer mobile check-in capability by 2012.
The PSS survey found that 26% of travellers now carry a smart
phone, twice more than in 2008. Mobile services are set to become
a channel of choice for passenger services, complementing existing
self-service options (kiosk and web check-in).
Passengers flying on more than 100 different airlines and
representing over 80 different nationalities were interviewed
during April/June 2009 in this independent survey.
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