Clients Want More Do-It-Yourself Business Travel

Posted on October 20, 2010 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

More travelers say they'd use kiosks and other self-serve technology. That means chauffeured transportation operators should be looking to digital, portable reservations, confirmations, and payment arrangements.

Automation in the travel industry has soared in the last couple of years, but travelers seem to want even more.

About 70% of travelers say they are ready to use self-serve devices to board planes, check bags, change flights, rent cars and book hotel rooms, according to a recent survey of nearly 2,500 airline passengers worldwide.

That percentage is a sharp increase from 2009, when 58% of travelers surveyed said they were willing to use self-serve technology.

The results come from surveys taken at airports around the globe — including Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and London's Heathrow Airport — by SITA/Air Transport World Passenger, a Swiss company that specializes in technology and communications for the airline industry.

The survey signaled bad news for travel agents: Of the passengers surveyed, 74% booked their flights online.

But it offered good news for airlines that earn revenue by booking hotels and car rentals through their websites: Of those surveyed, 38% said they used airline websites to book hotels, up from 21% last year.

In addition, 35% said they used an airline website to reserve a rental car, up from 19% last year.

"The survey demonstrates that passengers are increasingly comfortable with using a variety of options, whether online, kiosk or mobile check-in," said Cathy Stam, a spokeswoman for SITA.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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