Airline passengers need travel-optimised smartphone apps

With only 5% of airline passengers using smartphones to book travel, mobile travel services need to deliver additional value

Only 5% of airline passengers have used their smartphones to book travel, even though the majority of people carry a smartphone while travelling.

The Sita/Air Transport World Passenger IT Trends survey found that while 74% of passengers carry a smartphone, over two-thirds of the 2,489 surveyed said they used the web to book travel.

Mobile travel apps need to deliver intuitive and personalised services, according to Sita.

The survey found that 63% of travellers would use their mobile for a flight search and 58% for flight status. This compares with 29% who would definitely want to receive promotions on their mobile and 37% who would buy tickets.

“Technology has become an indispensable travel tool for the vast majority of today’s passengers. Our survey this year has seen 90% of them say that technology has helped them when travelling," said Francesco Violante, CEO of Sita. 

"The opportunity for further improvements is here now – with smartphones in their hands, passengers are equipped to use sophisticated mobile services,” he added.

To persuade people to change their travel habits, Violante said mobile travel services need to deliver additional value over existing technology choices.

The unique capabilities of smartphone technology, such as localisation and personalisation, provide the ability to offer a seamless travel experience to passengers. Both airlines and airports have the opportunity to provide much more personalised and intuitive services – at the right time and stage of the journey.

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