Travellers don’t like dealing with people. That’s the conclusion of SITA’s latest Passenger Survey revealed during the Air Transport IT Summit this year.

Instead, most travellers are happiest using technology, but how passengers respond to the various self-service travel services available depends on the individual passenger type. SITA has put its Passenger Quiz on-line. Take it and find out what category you fall under.

SITA’s Four Passenger Types

The travel information technology company has defined four basic passenger types: the Careful Planner, the Hyper-connected traveller, the Pampered traveller, and the Open-Minded adventurer.

  • 34% of all passengers are Careful Planners. They want every detail in place before travel, and double check just in case. Unsurprisingly, these tend to be anxious travellers. They’re probably anxious at home.
  • 14% are Hyper-Connected travellers. For these passengers, it’s all about control. Technology keeps them informed and in charge at throughout the journey, on their own terms. They value the efficiency of it. Hyper-Connected travellers aren’t passionate about travel, but they can easily get impatient or annoyed.
  • 14% are Pampered passengers. These individuals pay for a better travel experience. They like to relax and get the most out of the services they’re paying for. It’s not surprising that these travellers enjoy travel most, but they can get snippy when things go awry.
  • 9% of travellers fall in the category of Open-Minded Adventurers. These care-free souls will try anything once, twice to be sure, three times in case the first two were just a trick. They’re looking for experiences and bargains. They are generally excited about the journey. Despite their outward coolness, they probably have a few butterflies flying in their stomach.

The vast majority of flyers of all types feel a greater affinity with their travel gadgets than with human airport or airline representatives.

This is due to a combination of more advanced travel technologies which make the digital journey easier and a marked shift in consumer behaviour; with most of us focused on the small screen we hold in our hands.

  • 55% of passengers use some self-service tech on their journey, but use of tech for end-to-end self-service journey management is less common.
  • 92% of travellers find check-in easy to use on mobile devices.

Passengers say they want more mobile services in future, and their top priority is being updated on the status of their bags.

  • 56% of passengers who have used bag-drop stations say they plan to use this self-service option again.

On the whole, this impersonalisation of travel is a good thing. It makes travellers happy.

“It is clear that passengers love technology. Once they start to use kiosks, websites, mobile devices, automated gates and other tech they will continue to do so rather than returning to human interaction,” says Francesco Violante, CEO, SITA.

“As airlines and airports look to introduce new technology they should also note that ‘ease-of-use’ is vital for passengers. At check-in, the ease of use can increase kiosk adoption by as much as 86% and mobile by 59%.”

How the Four Passenger Types Use Tech

Unsurprisingly, Pampered Passengers are happiest of all.

(Keep this in mind, full service airlines: getting your heart’s desire still works for those passengers who can afford it.)

What is surprising is that even Pampered passengers like tech.

  • 88% of Pampered travellers are satisfied with technology to assist them throughout the travel process—the most of any passenger type.

They are among the most likely to use self-service bag-drop technology—matching their Hyper-Connected counterparts.

Adventurers go with the flow and leave a lot for the last minute.

  • 49% of Adventurers resort to kiosks at the airport for flight check-in—more than any other passenger type.

The passenger least likely to use or be satisfied with self-service baggage drop solutions is the Careful Planner—they just don’t know how to let go.

Careful Planners are also the least likely to use mobile apps.

  • 54% of all passengers will try a different self-service technology, after they’ve had a negative experience with a first.

For airports, it pays to have quality concessions.

  • 92% of all passengers are happy hanging out at the airport, but they only want food, entertainment or shopping if these are high-quality offerings. Otherwise, passengers would rather go without.

The Real Shocker: Most Air Travellers Are Happy

Another big surprise in SITA’s report is that the majority of passengers (85%) rate their travel experience as positive—which is actually a 5% rise in satisfaction levels over last year’s survey.

We can only assume that none of the people surveyed stood in a TSA line at the time.

SITA’s own numbers show that you can please most of the passengers most of the time, but not at the security checkpoint, or bag collection.

These two areas have the lowest satisfaction rating for all passenger types.

These are also the two areas of the journey where technology hasn’t yet caught up with passenger needs, but SITA is working on solutions.


So what type of traveller are you really?

Take the SITA Quiz to find out. The results might surprise you. Once you’ve taken the quiz come back and share whether you agree the type fits your traveller personality.

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