Soon passengers can get baggage updates, queue times on mobile phones: SITA study

Dublin, Ireland, April 21 2014:  Airlines and airports  are being pushed by strong passenger demand to offer mobile based services for for flight status, baggage status and airport directions.  More than half of passengers would use their mobiles  for such applications and by 2016 the majority of airlines and airports will offer these services, finds a study  by IT and communication provider to the air transport industry,  SITA, released here at the  CAPA’s Airlines in Transition Summitwhich ended here last week.
The report  Smart Thinking, is based on  global research and incorporates additional input from leading airlines and airports including British Airways, Saudia, Dublin Airport Authority, London City Airport and Heathrow.
According to SITA’s findings , flight status updates are already a mainstream mobile service and will extend to the vast majority of airlines and airports by the end of 2016. By then, what today are niche services will also be well established. Bag status updates will be offered by 61% of airlines; and 79% of airports will provide status notifications, such as queues times through security and walking time to gate. More than three quarters will also be providing navigation/way-finding at the airport via mobile apps.
Says Nigel Pickford, Director, Market Insight, SITA: “Our research has clearly shown that the move to smartphone apps and mobile services is well underway. But many of the services that airlines and airports are planning are heavily dependent on their ability to provide more meaningful data and insight - providing passengers and staff the right information at the right time. Efforts are being made across the industry to collaborate and SITA has established the Business Intelligence Maturity Index to benchmark the progress.”
 Pickford adds: “Though the picture is not perfect now, change is coming. All airlines and 90% of airports are planning to make business intelligence investments in the coming three years. Both face the issue though that while passengers are very keen to access information about their journey, they are also sensitive about privacy. The smart use of non-intrusive passenger information however will provide benefits to airlines and passengers.”
In the past, airlines and airports had no choice but to react when “irregular” events such as bad weather disrupted their finely-tuned schedules. Using business intelligence they will be more proactive by analyzing past events and combining live data feeds from multiple sources to predict future events and take preventative action before they occur. By making the transition from reactive to proactive to preventative there are significant benefits to be gained for passengers and the industry alike.
Link to infographic here
Link for downloading the full report in PDF
( registration required) here