Air passengers are demanding more opportunities: IATA survey

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Mumbai, Nov 20 (UNI) Air passengers are not only accepting high-tech travel options, but also demanding even more opportunities to take control of their travel experience, an annual survey by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has found.

The IATA's annual 'Corporate Air Travel Survey', the findings of which were released today, was conducted online between September and October this year and covered over 10,000 active travellers.

The survey also revealed that 89 per cent of the air travellers preferred e-ticket over a paper ticket, thus indicating an increasing trend towards the paper-less ticketing concept.

64 per cent of the survey's 10,000 respondents from Africa and West Asia said they wanted more self-service options, while in Asia-Pacific 51 per cent of the respondents showed their inclination for such options.

Of all the surveyed travellers, 56 per cent had experienced internet check-in while another 51 per cent had used self-service kiosks.

According to the survey, while 75 per cent of the respondents ranked online booking as number one self-service feature which they plan to use in the future, online reservation changes was ranked second with 69 per cent respondents saying that they would like to use such a facility as part of the self-service feature.

Respondents also called for additional self-service options online and at the departure gate, the survey revealed.

''The consumer has spoken and the message is clear. Self-service is part of full-service expectations. And airlines are responding with technology that gives travellers greater convenience and more options to control their travel experience,'' said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of IATA on the survey findings.

''The self-service revolution is underway. It's a win-win situation. Consumers demand the empowerment of new technology and the efficiencies it creates are critical for an industry that needs to reduce costs,'' said Mr Bisignani.

IATA's Simplifying the Business programme, started in 2004, is the platform for global standards in technology and process that are improving the travel experience.

Global penetration of electronic ticketing, now at 88 per cent, will be 100 per cent by May 31, 2008. Over 90 airlines are using bar coded boarding passes; common-use self-service kiosks are operating at 80 airports; and RFID baggage management is live at four airports.

''Simplifying the business is only the beginning. We are now looking to integrate technologies into a seamless process that meets traveller expectations for even greater convenience through self-service,'' added Mr Bisignani.

UNI

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