Mumbai Leads Use for the Web

by CXOtoday Staff    Oct 23, 2008

A global survey powered by SITA, a specialist provider of IT solutions to airlines and airports said that Indian travelers use the Web more than most for flight booking and check-in.

The use of self-service check-in at Mumbai (28.7 percent) rivals that of one of mainland Europe s main gateways, Paris Charles De Gaulle (29.9 percent) but most significantly Mumbai leads all six airports when it comes to Web check-in with a score of 19.3 percent just ahead of Atlanta, 18 percent.

The survey found that 61.7 percent of Mumbai passengers booked online, which was ahead of all other surveyed airports except the world s busiest, Atlanta, where 73.4 percent booked online. Only 19.7 percent of respondents interviewed at Mumbai Airport had never used online booking. Among those who did use online booking when it was available, 30 percent found it cheaper to book offline, 28 percent did not have a credit card; and 20 percent had no Internet access. Ease of use and time saved were the main reasons cited for online booking.

Maneesh Jaikrishna, director for India and South Asia, SITA said, This survey confirms that self-service is here to stay with potential for truly explosive growth in emerging markets. It is remarkable that despite low Internet penetration in India, already almost 20 percent of passengers at the country’s largest airport, Mumbai International, are using the Web to check-in. The survey demonstrates that Indian travellers are among the most technologically savvy. Globally, 93 percent of the passengers surveyed were carrying a mobile device.

However, the major obstacles to self-service check-in adoption according to Mumbai passengers in the survey were lack of availability of self-service for the particular flight, 27.5 percent, and a further 24.7 percent could not tell if self-service check-in was available. The air transport community together with IT providers like SITA must work together to address these gaps in understanding and availability of self-service options.

The survey, now in its third year but expanded to include airports across the globe, confirmed the travelling public s desire for greater autonomy when it comes to making their own travel arrangements. For passengers in Mumbai, price, flight schedule, airline reputation and ability to book online were the four main considerations when making their travel arrangements.

The survey 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.