Airline passengers more and more are bringing their own electronic devices on flights and demanding mobile services to help navigate the airport experience, according to a major survey of 6,000-plus air travelers by SITA, a Swiss airport IT firm withAmerican headquarters in Atlanta.
Some 97 percent of passengers carry a phone, tablet or laptop when they travel, with smartphones carrying the largest penetration rate by far at 81 percent. About 43 percent each carry laptops and tablets, while 18 percent carry all three devices.
This mobile penetration is allowing airports and airlines to reach travelers in new ways to enhance their experiences. More than three-quarters of smartphone users already access travel apps, and many are seeking to use their devices more intensely at the airport.
Airport wayfinding was the top service demanded by smartphone users, 57 percent of whom said they would definitely use maps and directions delivered to their smartphones. Other smartphone uses mentioned include area access and digital identification and payments.
More generally, a majority of passengers (53 percent) said that technology has definitely improved their overall flying experience, and the Internet was the linchpin. Travelers prioritized the use of websites and apps for booking, along with self check-in kiosks upon arrival at the airport, the survey noted.