At the Global Business Travel Association’s annual convention in Boston last week, flight information provider, FlightView, released results of a business travel survey that showed some dissatisfaction for airline and airport technology offerings.
Frequent fliers often are early adopters of new technology such as smartphones and tablets. These mobile devices have become lifelines for information and communication, especially when travelling.
Airlines and airports are slowly becoming hip to the capability of these devices by mobilizing some key travel information and processes, but many travelers agree they’d like to see more, plus some of the current limitations are frustrating.
By business traveler request, here are some of the areas needing improvement.
Day-Of-Travel Information. Nearly all of the 600 business travelers surveyed (94%) want flight status delivered to their mobile devices. 70% would like mobile alerts when their flight is boarding, and 63% want seat upgrade availability notifications to pop up on their screens. Once aboard, 93% want the status and gate location of their connecting flights pushed to their devices.
Self-Service. Mobilizing some travel processes takes away some of the air travel agony, and helps travelers feel more in control of their plans. Of the mobile tasks requested by business travelers surveyed, rebooking flights (70%) on mobile devices was at the top of the list. Also they would like to purchase upgrades and book ground transportation.
Wi-Fi. Internet access is vital to travelers using their mobile devices to manage travel plans, including delays and other unexpected snags. Here’s where airports and airlines took the biggest hit: only 28% of business travelers are satisfied with airline Wi-Fi availability, and just 32% think airports offer adequate Wi-Fi services.
Clearly there’s currently a gap between what business travelers need for an optimal air travel experience and what airports and airlines provide. This spells ‘opportunity’ for airports and airlines to improve their technology offerings to differentiate themselves and drive greater loyalty.
The findings are part of a larger research report on travelers’ technological expectations of airports and airlines due out next month