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Mobile phones popularise use of self check-in facilities at Mumbai airport

The growing popularity of web, kiosk and mobile check-in has almost doubled passenger self-service check-in at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), Mumbai over the year, up from 36% to 65%.

The 2011 SITA/Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service Survey found that the web check-in rate was higher in Mumbai than at any of the other airports included in the survey. 70% of Mumbai passengers said they use it occasionally or frequently compared to a global average of 65%. The survey also showed that the mobile phone is now an integral part of the passenger experience in India.

The survey was carried out at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Beijing Capital International Airport, Frankfurt International Airport, São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai, which serve about 283 million passenger a year.

98% of all passengers carry either a cell phone (56%) or a smartphone (42%). The most popular smartphone is the Blackberry at 48% (all you iPhone and Android only app-writers please tattoo this to your eyelids). Smartphones are most popular with 66% of first/business class passengers and 44% of frequent flyers (who take ten or more trips per year).

Smartphone passengers are driving demand for self-service options and Wi-Fi access at airports. 80% of passengers, globally, want free Wi-Fi access (hello airport operators), but 38% of Mumbai smartphone passengers would accept paying for access compared to 10% globally, though we are sure, this number would dive if the amount is more than a few rupees.

Unlike the developed world, and with 56% of passengers carrying a non-smart mobile phone, India still shows a high demand for SMS notifications of flight information. 48% of passengers already receive SMS notifications and a further 46% would like to receive them.

At 63%, online booking was the most popular form of booking among Mumbai passengers compared to a global rate of 57%. Online travel agencies like Yatra.com, MakeMyTrip.com, Travelocity.com, Cleartrip.com, etc., were used by 59% of those who booked online. Airline websites accounted for 34%. May be passengers need to get more familiar with IXIGO.

Airport operator Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd., (MIAL) will be increasing the use of Common Use Self Service (CUSS) terminals. As per Mr Vikram Sethi, Vice President and Head of Terminal Operations, “There will be a further increase in offsite check-in/self check-in as the government requirement for airlines to stamp boarding cards generated from kiosks is being discontinued and airlines will have to conduct identity checks at the boarding gate.”

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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