Travelers Now Turning to Airports as Core Source of Day-of-Travel Information, According to FlightView

2,100-plus travelers share expectations around the airport experience, mobile-device tracking, TSA PreCheck and more

BOSTON—Travelers expect airports to more effectively leverage the data they collect to enhance the airport experience, according to a FlightView survey of 2,104 travelers. In fact, 93 percent of travelers said they want airports to automatically push alerts to them regarding important day-of-travel information during their trips. Specifically, of the travelers FlightView surveyed:

“The task of proactively keeping travelers updated with vital day-of-travel information has largely fallen on airlines and third-party providers”

  • 84 percent expect airports to keep them updated on their flight’s status
  • 79 percent want updates on security wait times
  • 48 percent would value updates on traffic delays
  • 38 percent want to be kept updated on the weather at their destination city

“The task of proactively keeping travelers updated with vital day-of-travel information has largely fallen on airlines and third-party providers,” said Mike Benjamin, CEO of FlightView, the day-of-travel information company. “The fact that travelers now want to get information directly from airports represents a substantial shift, and airports need to ensure they are positioned to respond.”

This shift in consumer expectations has forced airports worldwide to evaluate their mobile communication capabilities, and put plans in place for keeping travelers better informed. In fact, according to SITA, by 2017, 90 percent of all airports will be able to provide flight status notifications through mobile and 65 percent will be able to provide real-time mobile information updates during travel disruptions.

One of the more advanced and effective – but somewhat controversial – ways airports can keep travelers informed is through mobile device tracking. FlightView found that there’s a growing interest among travelers to allow airports to anonymously track their mobile devices in order to collect and provide their visitors with actionable information – such as real-time updates on security lines, wait times at Customs and ticket counters, walking times between gates and more. More than 50 percent of travelers (53%) indicated they would allow airports to track their devices.

“While some consumers are still skeptical about mobile device tracking in general, there’s potential for it to become a win-win for both travelers and the airport,” said Benjamin. “By understanding where travelers are in real-time, not only can airports provide updates on passenger flow and bottlenecks in the terminals, but they can more effectively move around their operations staff to better serve customers and provide more personalized offerings.”

Traveler Demand for Self-Service Technologies Continues to Rise

The evolution of self-service technology has been one of the most significant advancements in airport customer service over the past five years – yet travelers indicated that they still want more. When asked which specific self-service options they wish were made more readily available by airports and airlines, 63 percent of travelers said TSA PreCheck, 54 percent said automatic flight check-in and 43 percent said automated border-control technology. Rounding out the top five were passport scanners for international travel (41%) and self-tagging baggage stations (28%).

When travelers were asked which self-service technology or process provided the biggest improvement to their airport experience, TSA PreCheck won by a wide margin. According to FlightView’s research, the airport industry has been effective in creating awareness for TSA PreCheck: 71 percent of travelers reported being familiar with the process, and only 33 percent said they found the process confusing.

Another self-service capability that’s actively being explored by airlines is self-boarding at the gate. However, survey respondents were not particularly interested in the idea: Only 40 percent of travelers believe that self-boarding would be an improvement over current boarding processes, and only 6 percent ranked self-boarding ahead of other self-service technologies when asked which would offer the biggest improvement to their travel experience.

“Improving the airport experience will always be a top priority for travelers, and with new technologies and smarter processes constantly emerging, airports need to continually evaluate the services they offer to ensure they map to what today’s travelers need and expect,” said Benjamin.

For more insights from FlightView’s survey, get a complimentary copy of the report, Building Connected Airports that Enhance Customer Experience, Improve Operations and Drive Revenue, here.

About FlightView

FlightView is the leading provider of accurate, real-time flight information solutions for the aviation and travel industries. FlightView was started in 2008 when CEO Mike Benjamin brought a new management and technology team to RLM Software, the first recipient of the ASDI (FAA radar) data feed and long-time consultant to the FAA. With a new focus on delivering actionable flight information across the full range of media platforms, FlightView was born. Since then, FlightView’s customer list has grown to include over 130 airports, several major and mid-sized airlines and other travel related customers who employ FlightView information in digital displays, Web and mobile sites, native apps and other uses. FlightView mobile products were launched starting in 2009 and our native apps for the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Palm platforms have logged over 3.3M downloads. FlightView is located in Boston, Massachusetts. To learn more, please visit FlightView.com and follow us on Twitter: @FlightView






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