Over 34 percent of passengers have experienced baggage issues on their most recent flight and over 18 in every 100 passengers have experienced a delayed or canceled flight during their last travel experience, a new study from Amadeus reports. Almost 10 percent complained about not receiving relevant and real-time information.
Navigating the Airport of Tomorrow, developed by Norm Rose, President of Travel Tech Consulting, Inc., and commissioned by Amadeus, includes statistics from a passenger survey conducted by JD Power. The report details the key ‘passenger pain points’ in the airport experience, using findings from a survey of almost 3000 passengers, and outlines a technology roadmap to the airport of tomorrow.
The Amadeus report emphasizes that airlines and airports must work together to address passenger pain points, including the three airline operational issues cited as having the most severe impact on a passenger’s travel experience: baggage issues, disruption management (delayed or canceled flights), and time delays at check-in and security.
Key findings include:
Travelers demand improvements in disruption management and baggage handling: At 43 percent, disruption management ranked as the single most important area where travelers would like to see improvement. Furthermore, innovations and improvements in baggage handling are important to 34 percent of travelers with a similar percentage having suffered delays when checking-in, depositing or picking up baggage.
Demand for new information services and self-service is high: Just under 40 percent of travelers would adopt services that delivered real-time information to their mobile devices on flight and baggage status, as well as directions at the airport. A third of respondents require greater self-service options, including the ability to purchase additional services at airport kiosks and self-tagging options for luggage.
Airport experiences impact perceptions of airlines: On average, if customers are made to wait in line for longer than 30 minutes in order to check-in, their perception of the airline used swings negatively by 10 percent.
Looking ahead to 2020, the report paints an optimistic picture of how specific emerging technologies will be applied to solve the challenges of the airport experience including:
One-touch check-in and progress tracking: Near field communication (NFC) enabled smartphones and tablet computers could unlock the possibility of one-touch check-in, if airports deploy NFC sensors throughout the airport. This would maximize ease of check-in for the passenger, and could even enable airlines to track their passengers through the airport, achieving greater efficiencies.
Permanent baggage tags: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is being introduced to create permanent baggage tags that recognize the passenger’s frequent flyer details and allow the tracking of the bag through the airport, onto the airplane and off again at the final destination. This will enable real-time baggage information – an especially valuable service in times of disruption.
Roaming agents with tablet computers: Given the proliferation of tablet computers, roaming agents could soon be available within the airport to provide information to passengers as necessary, or to aid the desk check-in process at peak times.
“We see a bright future for those players that are willing to collaborate in order to overcome the challenges presented by airport operations. Airlines, airport operators, ground handlers and retailers must work together if the vision presented in this report is to be realized. Our priority is to help deliver a better experience for the passenger by providing solutions that underpin how airlines and airports better relate to their customers,” Julia Sattel, VP Airline IT, Amadeus, said.
Norm Rose, Travel Tech Consulting, Inc., and the report’s author, said: “It is clear that self service and mobility are key themes of the airport of tomorrow. Ubiquitous connectivity means the passenger is always online and therefore in turn expects real-time communication. Even simple advances such as verifying that a passenger’s baggage is on-board the aircraft can greatly help to minimize frustration and uncertainty. That said, in order to genuinely achieve this vision of the airport of tomorrow, airlines and airports must invest in new systems that automate manual tasks, share information and provide proactive communication to the passenger.”
The full report is available for download at www.amadeus.com/AirportOfTomorrow.