Quality of customer service becomes the main factor when booking travel after the end of the pandemic
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- According to the SITA – Passenger IT Insights 2023 study, passengers continue to use mobile services and biometrics to optimize travel planning.
When booking air tickets, passengers are increasingly paying attention not only to their cost and availability of destinations, but also to the conditions of service at the airport. Thus, according to the SITA Passenger IT Insights 2023 report, customers are actively using technology to optimize all aspects of travel in the post-pandemic period: be it airport transfers, supporting sustainability or simplifying transfers from plane to bus or train and vice versa.
The report notes that due to a surge in ticket demand since the pandemic, coupled with staff and resource shortages, airlines and airports have experienced disruptions that are negatively impacting the passenger experience. More than 50% of them reported flight delays and cancellations, with the majority highlighting how this negatively impacted their travel experience. It is therefore not surprising that almost a third of passengers in 2023 are worried about flight delays and cancellations already at the booking stage.
Passengers seek to smooth out “pain points” while traveling with the help of technology. 2023 has shown that people continue to remotely control all stages of their journey using smartphones. The share of those who use mobile devices when booking a flight, checking in for a flight, while waiting at the airport, on board and when claiming baggage is also growing.
The study also asked passengers how they rate their comfort level with using biometric identification throughout their journey. Passenger responses were rated an average of 7.36 out of 10 (with 10 being “most comfortable”), up from 7.26 in 2022, reflecting the growing desire for the contactless airport experience enabled by biometrics. Of additional interest is the possibility of going through a number of formalities before arriving at the airport: almost a fifth of respondents chose the option “Automatic verification of documents before arrival at the airport to the extent necessary to pass border control” as a possible improvement to the booking process.
Passengers note the potential of technology in the field of sustainable development. The respondents value their use most of all both in the work of airlines (the importance was emphasized by 64% of passengers) and airports (62% of passengers). The figure has increased significantly compared to 2022, when it was approximately 50%. This dynamic sends a clear signal to the industry that innovative approaches to reducing CO2 emissions are the focus of users. These technologies include flight path optimization to reduce airline fuel consumption, and tools that track environmental performance to reduce emissions from airport operations.
The world of travel is becoming increasingly connected, with research showing that three-quarters of passengers plan to book package trips that span air and ground transport in the next year. As this format grows in popularity, so does interest in technologies that can streamline the process throughout the door-to-door journey. At the same time, passengers are considering intermodal transport as a new area of travel that can be automated with the help of IT.
A third of passengers in the survey expressed interest in the baggage delivery service. Its idea is that the traveler leaves his luggage at the starting point (this could be a home, a hotel, an airport terminal) and the next time he meets his luggage at his destination, traveling light. Also, almost a third of survey participants would like tour operators to coordinate actions in the event of failures and respond promptly to them.
David Lavorel, CEO of SITA, said: “When planning travel, price is just one-factor influencing travelers’ willingness to book flights. The airport experience has also become a key factor in passenger decision-making, and travelers have clearly indicated that the higher their level of discomfort with inefficiencies in processes, the more likely they are to consider alternative routes and options. Passengers are showing what steps the industry needs to take and are recognizing more than ever that smart technology is an important element in optimizing travel and reducing environmental impact, regardless of the mode of transport or travel format chosen.”