Passengers at Abu Dhabi International Airport
(AUH) have the highest demand for Self Service options of all six
major airport hubs included in this year’s SITA/Air Transport
World Passenger Self Service Survey, which also found high rates
of smartphone adoption among premium travelers. It is the first
time that AUH has featured in the survey.
The demand for Self Service is partly fuelled by
smartphone adoption rates of 78% for frequent flyers (over ten
trips per year) and 35% among business/first class travelers. The
survey reveals a clear opportunity for airlines to increase the
use of mobile check-in, which had only been used by 12% of survey
respondents compared to 38% who had used online check-in.
In AUH, 33% of the passengers surveyed had a smartphone
and a further 50% had ordinary mobile phones. The Blackberry was
the most popular with 41% of smartphone holders having one,
followed by 26% having an iPhone. Globally, 35% of respondents preferred the iPhone compared to 28% who used the Blackberry.
The rising influence of the smartphone globally is a
key finding from the 6th annual SITA/Air Transport World Passenger
Self Service Survey carried out with a representative sample of
the 283.5 million passengers who pass through six of the world’s
leading airport hubs: Abu Dhabi International Airport, Beijing
International Airport; Frankfurt International Airport;
Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta; Mumbai International; and Sao Paulo
Interest in mobile applications is high
at AUH where 30% of respondents would be willing to pay for
information updates sent directly to their mobile phones. Interest
is highest in flight-related information such as gate changes,
flight delays, and boarding status, which 80% of survey
respondents would use if available. This is followed by wait time
at security, 50%; time to reach departure gate, 42%; information
on airport parking, 35%; and location of closest lounge, 33%.
And 73% of AUH smartphone users would access a free
Wi-Fi network compared to 66% globally. At AUH 15% would be
willing to pay for Wi-Fi access compared to 10% globally.
AUH passenger interest in Self Service is underlined by the fact
that it has the highest success rate in the survey when it comes
to encouraging passengers to use remote bag-drop facilities, which
was an option used by 13% of passengers with a bag to check-in compared with a rate of just 1% in the survey overall.
On the other hand, only 4% reported using a bag-drop
counter compared to a global rate of 42%. A higher proportion of
passengers had a bag to check-in than at any other airport in the
survey, 81% compared to an overall survey rate of 67%.
The appetite for Self Service options is high at AUH. Self-bag
tag (81%), Self Service bag drop (76%), and self-boarding (74%)
were the three most popular Self Service options sought by AUH
survey respondents, followed by tracking of bag location from a
mobile device (67%), transfer kiosks (63%), and reporting missing
bag from kiosks (63%).
Retail travel agencies are
still more popular with AUH travelers than elsewhere with 44% of
respondents using them for bookings compared to 17% overall but,
interestingly, the overwhelming majority, a massive 99% of those
who choose to book their flights online did so through an airline
website compared to the global survey figure of 52%.
There is a clear opportunity here for airlines to target AUH
passengers with improved non-air offers on their websites as
actual usage rates for modifying reservations on-line and
purchasing other services are 32% or lower.
Assaad, SITA Regional Vice-President, Middle East and North
Africa, said, “It is exciting to see Abu Dhabi International
Airport feature in the Passenger Self Service Survey for the first
time and to be able to provide the airport and airlines with this unprecedented insight into the behaviors and attitudes of their
customers. The survey reveals many opportunities to provide services to passengers which will generate revenue, increase
efficiency and improve passenger satisfaction.”
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