Mumbai, Oct 23: If you thought that air passengers use the internet only to book tickets, then think again. The use of web check-in and self-service check-in is on the rise at Mumbai airport. In fact, a global survey says that the percentage of passengers at Mumbai airport who use these facilities is much higher than any other airport in the world.
In a global survey carried out at six of the world’s busiest airports across five continents, the passengers of Mumbai airport have clearly indicated that selfservice check-in and web check-in is growing in popularity. According to the SITA/Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service Survey, the use of self-service check-in at Mumbai (28.7%) rivals that of one of mainland Europe’s main gateways—Paris Charles De Gaulle (29.9%).
But significantly, Mumbai leads all six airports when it comes to web check-in with a score of 19.3% just ahead of Atlanta (18%). Though Mumbai scores high percentage-wise, it may be noted that when it comes to actual numbers, Mumbai would be far behind airports like Atlanta, for instance, as the sheer volume of passengers the latter handles is much higher than what Mumbai does.
The survey takes an in-depth look at the attitudes and habits of a representative sample of the 232m passengers who use six of the world’s busiest airports across five continents: Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta; Mumbai International; Charles de Gaulle, Paris; Moscow Domodedovo; Sao Paulo Guarulhos, Brazil; and Johannesburg O R Tambo International Airport. The data is extracted from interviews with 2,143 passengers from over 60 countries travelling on over 100 airlines, conducted at the departure gates earlier this year.
The survey found that 61.7% of Mumbai passengers made online bookings, which was ahead of all other surveyed airports except the world’s busiest, Atlanta, where 73.4% booked online. Only 19.7% of respondents interviewed at Mumbai airport had never used online booking. Among those who did use online booking when it was available, 30% found it cheaper to book offline, 28% did not have a credit card; and 20% had no internet access. Ease of use and time saved were the main reasons cited for online booking.
Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA director for India and South Asia, said: "This survey confirms that self-service is here to stay with potential for truly explosive growth in emerging markets." He added that despite low internet penetration in India, almost 20% of passengers at the country’s largest airport—Mumbai, that is—are using the web to check-in.
"The survey demonstrates that Indian travellers are among the most technologically savvy. Globally, 93% of the passengers surveyed were carrying a mobile device,’’ he added.
However, the major obstacles to selfservice check-in adoption were lack of availability of self-service for a particular flight (27.5%). Besides, 24.7% could not tell if self-service check-in was available.