The Mobile Travel Habits of Airline Passengers Worldwide
A businessman text messages in airport. / SITA
A simple user experience appears to be the most important factor in increasing mobile adoption. Although 90 percent of travelers say technology helps them when traveling, a deeper usability has yet to be reached.
The majority of flyers today carry smartphones with them, but they’re not using the devices to their greatest potential.
Three-quarters, or 76 percent, of travelers have a smartphone on hand while flying, according to the 2013 SITA/Air Transport World Passenger IT Trends Survey released today.
The below chart tracks smartphone ownership among flyers over the past four years, according to the annual SITA reports:
Although flyers are able to access more information and complete more tasks on their smartphones than ever before, those who actually book airfares or check into flights on mobile remains under 5 percent. This is nowhere near the 37 percent of respondents who say they would buy tickets on a smartphone.
Flyers’ lack of mobile adoption is due to usability concerns including fears that the phone will not work (31 percent), there will be issues with phone compatibility (24 percent), that there are better options (18 percent), or that an app is too complicated (13 percent).
Travelers are using other forms of technology to improve the travel experience.
The survey found that 69 percent of respondents book travel on a website and 20 percent use a kiosk to check-in at the airport.
In-Flight Mobile Desires
Once in the air, flyers are most concerned with accessing entertainment on their personal devices.
Eighty-five percent of passengers want to access media on personal mobile devices, 73 percent of flyers would like to access email, and 70 percent would like to check up on flight information.
Travelers in the U.S. might have their wish granted sooner than later with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration considering rules that allow flyers greater in-flight use of personal laptops, tablets, and e-readers.
SITA created the following infographic to highlight the trends from the 2013 Passenger IT Suvery: