How airlines will use IT to improve travel experience

Global carriers to enhance passengers’ trips with tech
Airlines around the world are investing in technology to offer travellers services that are personalised, stress-free and updated on a timely basis for a better travel experience, according to a report by Air transport communications and IT company SITA.
The report, 2015 Air Transport Industry Insights: The Airline IT Trends Survey, collected responses from chief information officers at airlines across the world.
On average, an airline uses two-thirds of annual IT spend in 2014 on service continuity, while the remaining 32% goes towards innovation and enhancing existing investments.
Key goals in investing in new IT for passenger experience include more personalisation, less stressful travel, and keeping travellers informed of what they need to know.
Firstly, airlines want to leverage mobile adoption trends throughout the world, with 75% of airlines planning major smartphone programs to deliver passenger services in the next three years that will likely include highly personalised smartphone bookings and baggage-tracking functions.
And 22% of airlines intend to allow passengers to download content for flights, such as books and films, from media tablets to mobile devices by 2018.
On smoothing air travel for passengers, the survey predicts that while desk check-ins are likely to remain the de facto check-in channel through to 2018, mobile check-ins are likely to become the second-place option.
Automatic check-ins could double over the next three years, and 68% of airlines are expected to offer this on certain routes. The number of airlines offering bag-drop facilities should rise from 17% now to 74% by 2018.
Airlines are also working to keep passengers up-to-date on travel information, as the survey found that 70% of airlines plan to share with passengers the location of their baggage compared to 10% today. Carriers will also use passenger location to ensure on-time boarding with notifications based on locations.
Airlines are also looking into increasing mobile device usage among cabin crew, investing in data analysis, and preparing for technologies such as the Internet of Things, wearables and beacon technology, which SITA is trialling with Hong Kong International Airport.
TTG Asia