SITA has released the findings of its annual Passenger IT Trends Survey and they provide an interesting insight into how passengers feel at each of the key touch-points in the travel process.
More than 5,800 survey respondents were asked to rate their last travel experience through each step of the journey in terms of positive emotions (happiness/excitement) and negative emotions (anger/anxiety) based on Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions model.
The above graphic highlights the full results, and while it is unsurprising that airport security (36% negative) evokes the most negative emotions, it is interesting to note that bag collection upon arrival (31% negative) comes in a close second. A relatively high number of passengers also reported feeling negative emotions at passport control (25% negative) and bag drop (21% negative).
As for the other touch-points, only 9% of passengers felt negative emotions during the booking process, 14% during check-in, 11% when tagging their bags, 5% during dwell time before boarding, 12% during the boarding process and 9% once onboard the aircraft.
A deeper delve into some of these touch-points also provides interesting reading on how new technology can impact passengers’ emotions. During the check-in process, for instance, 97% felt positive emotions when undertaking web check-in, while only 83% reported feeling positive emotions when checking in at the airline desk at the airport. During the bag drop process, 77% reported feeling positive emotions when using a staffed bag drop station, but this number falls to 59% at unstaffed bag drop stations, suggesting that passengers feel more comfortable when a staff member is on hand to help in case anything goes wrong.
The report states: “[This] result indicates the importance of having a transition plan when introducing new technology for passengers until they have obtained a high level of familiarity.”
Airports and airlines should also take note of which services travellers would like to use their mobile devices for while they are at the airport. 72% would definitely use their smartphone to view flight updates, 63% would definitely opt to receive bag collection updates, 60% would definitely use their device for access (including accessing lounges and boarding the aircraft), 59% would definitely use their smartphone for identification purposes, and 57% would definitely use their smartphone to view airport maps and directions.