UAE Travelers are increasingly relying on self-service technology to manage their journey instead of counter-based services which require interaction with staff, according to global aviation IT provider SITA.
The 2016 SITA Passenger IT Trends Survey found over 48 percent of travelers through the country use self-service technology where available rather than interact with a person. The survey was carried out across the UAE’s main airports and representing 98% of the UAE’s passenger traffic, and showed that 93 percent of passengers use self-service and mobile technologies to book, 44 percent to check-in, and 61 percent to access their boarding passes.
This trend is expected to accelerate next year. The survey shows that self-service usage across the UAE is predicted to surge 36 percent over the next year with a majority of travelers opting to manage their own booking, check-in and boarding using either a kiosk, website or a mobile app.
Demand for mobile self-service options in the UAE in particular is expected to grow sharply in the year ahead. A total of 34 percent of travelers expect to use mobile booking compared with 15 percent in 2016, while mobile check-in will surge from 5 percent in 2016 to 19 percent of travelers using it in 2017. Passengers are also demanding new mobile services, particularly in the area of baggage. A total of 71 percent of UAE travelers said they definitely would want baggage update notifications and 55% said they wanted baggage collection details.
During dwell time at the airport, 93 percent of UAE travelers considered eating and drinking as the most valuable activity. Similarly 90 percent of travelers saw shopping as the most valuable activity. UAE travellers are also at their most happy during dwell time, with 96 percent of passengers feeling positive emotions.
Passengers in the UAE rely heavily on technology during dwell time to access services available in the airport. A total of 72 percent used their mobile or went online to do airport shopping.