Crowded airports boost web services

Air passengers are turning in increasing numbers to web check-in and other DIY services as airports get more crowded and annoying, according to research from travel tech group SITA.

Over half of the airlines it surveyed – including all low-cost and top 25 carriers - already offered customers the opportunity to check-in via the net, while 89% expected to do so within two years.

Twenty one percent of travellers, meanwhile, had used the web to check-in – a figure SITA expects to increase to 35% by the end of the year.

It also found more passengers were turning to self-service kiosks to dodge queues - 37% expected to use them this year and 49% next.

Paul Coby, chairman of SITA, said:

“Airlines are increasingly using web check-in because they want to make travel easier for their passengers... It’s relatively easy to deploy and saves cost, so it’s a win-win for both passengers and airlines.”

The survey also found that 76% of airlines were planning to offer mobile-based check-in services within two years.

Airlines said online ticket distribution represented 35% of their total ticket sales, while SITA predicts that 86% of all tickets will be electronically issued by the end of next year.

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