Satisfaction survey

Self check-in kiosks at Don Mueang airport. Tawatchai Kemgumnerd

Air passenger satisfaction is higher when self-service technologies are applied, according to the 2017 Passenger IT Trends Survey by Sita, the specialist in air transport communications and information technology.

Co-sponsored by Air Transport World magazine, the survey was conducted online in the second quarter of this year. It received 7,031 respondents from 17 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The survey found that passengers rate their journey very highly with an overall satisfaction rate of 8.2 out of 10 but this is boosted even further when technologies such as mobile services and biometrics are used.

From the start of their journey, almost 90% of respondents book their flight with self-service technologies via websites (80%) and apps (7%). Passengers also use web check-in (28%), self-service kiosks (15%) and face-to-face check-in counter (46%).

A total of 37% of travellers used automated ID control. Of these, 55% said they had used biometrics at departure security, 33% for boarding and 12% for international arrivals. Looking forward, 57% of passengers said they would use biometrics for their next trip.

Baggage collection is another area where technology can improve passenger experience. More than half (58%) of passengers who checked in bags received real-time bag-collection information upon arrival. The passengers are even more satisfied when they receive the information to their mobile devices.

For baggage management, the self-bag tagging increased passenger satisfaction to a rating of 8.4 out of 10. Nearly half (47%) of all passengers took advantage of a self-service tagging option, up from 31% in 2016.

The survey also found out that passengers wanted personalised information about their flight, their baggage and how to find their gate directly on their mobile devices.

About 74% of passengers said they would definitely use flight and gate alerts pushed to their mobile devices if available, 64% would use real-time bag tracking, 62% would be happy to receive bag collection details on their mobile devices and 57% would use airport wayfinding and biometrics throughout the journey.

"Passengers aren't deciding anymore whether they should use technology but which technology to use. They want to make each step of the journey as easy as possible," said Sita president of Air Travel Solutions Ilya Gutlin.

Hotels update

Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel will host the 18th World Gourmet Festival from Sept 4-10. It will also partner with San Pellegrino, an Italy-based sparkling fruit beverage manufacturer, to bring in 11 chefs including Michelin-starred chefs and other famous chefs from eight countries to Bangkok.

Each chef will host two dinners. Part of the proceeds of the event will be offered to the Thai Red Cross Aids Research Center.


Absolute Hotel Services Group plans to open U Hua Hin hotel in 2020.

The hotel will be located on a beachfront area on a 9 rai plot of land between Hua Hin Soi 1 and 3. It will feature 132 rooms including pool villas. Other facilities include a swimming pool with pool bar, fitness centre, restaurant and meeting rooms.

The property will be the 11th U hotel brand in Thailand.


Airlines update

Qatar Airways will increase its non-stop flights from Doha to Krabi to daily starting on Dec 1.

At present, the airline flies four flights a week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. The departure time of its daily flight will remain the same. The flight will depart from Hamad International Airport in Doha at 7.40pm and arrive in Krabi at 6.10am. The departure time from Krabi International Airport will be 8am, with arrival in Doha at 11.25am.


VietJet has signed a partnership agreement with Japan Airlines.

Both airlines will offer codeshare service on all international and domestic flights.

"We believe the partnership will contribute to generate more passenger and cargo traffic between the two countries and open up commercial opportunities on the two airlines' international networks," said Japan Airlines executive vice-president Tadashi Fujita.

JAL operates daily non-stop services between Tokyo and Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi.

According to VietJet managing director Luu Duc Khanh, Japan is its key market for the airline to expand its network in the Asia-Pacific region.

Both airlines will further develop the partnership in other areas including a frequent flyer partnership, aircraft operations, maintenance, ground handling services and training in the future.

Meanwhile, VietJet also announced its half-year revenue at US$473 million (15.5 billion baht), increasing 45.1% from the same period of last year.

At present, the airline operates 30 Airbus A320s and 15 Airbus A321s on 73 domestic and international routes, increasing 13 routes from last year.

Its average load factor is around 88%, the technical reliability rate is 99.55% and on-time performance rate is 85.7%. The airline carried 8.27 million passengers in the first half of 2017, up 22.4% from last year.

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