Airports Plan to Invest in Self-Service Kiosks

According to the 2014 SITA/ACI Airport IT Trends Survey, airports will be investing in more technology to improve the passenger processes. The researchers surveyed IT executives from 106 of the top 200 airport operators around the world. Around 86% of airports said that they were planning on investing in the self-service processes in the next three years. This rate is expected to increase to 92% in 2017. Airports plan on spending $6.8 billion in technology.

The researchers also asked questions to 2,500 passengers at busy airports in different countries. The questions were related to how often passengers use self-service features at airports. The survey found that passengers are increasingly using technology throughout the airport. There was a direct correlation between the frequency of travel, and the chances of carrying a smartphone. Half of the interviewed passengers said that they had used a self-service option either online, on their mobile devices, or at a self-service kiosk. Online check-ins experienced the highest increase in passenger use, at 67%. Mobile check-in grew by 64%. Of the passengers surveyed, 70% prefer to use self-service kiosks at the airport to check-in.

Airports hope to use the self-service kiosks to improve the passenger processes. Out of all of the senior IT executives who were surveyed, 37% said that they planned to increase the number of check-in kiosks. Currently, there are already 14,000 self-service check-in kiosks installed in airports worldwide. The SITA survey found that out of the passengers who prefer to check-in online, 37% would choose to use a self-service kiosk if they had no Internet connection at the airport. The passengers who chose not to use the self-service kiosks to check-in were usually traveling with a bag that needed to get checked-in. Lining up at bag drop-off desks canceled the benefits that a self-service kiosk provides, so they preferred to check-in when they dropped off their bags. The survey found that throughout all of the airports studied worldwide, passengers were all consistently looking to speed up the check-in process, and adopting self-service quickly.

More airports around the world are using self-service kiosks in innovative ways. At both Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, passengers can use self-service transfer kiosks to bypass long lines and grab a boarding pass for their connecting flight. Bermuda Airport has started a new missing bag claim kiosk, and 66% of survey respondents said that they would use it. This is an increase from 2013, where only 48% of passengers said they would use a baggage claim kiosk.

Because passengers are receptive to using technology throughout their journey, airports should invest in using self-service kiosks. With self-service kiosks, passengers can bypass long lines and check-in more quickly. Passengers can simply scan their driver’s license, passport, or another form of ID to get their boarding pass. ID readers at self-service kiosks make it easier for the passenger to enter their information in, and provide additional security by detecting fraudulent IDs. With self-service kiosks, airports can speed up the check-in process for passengers without giving up security.


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