Mobile is already helping improve passenger satisfaction when it comes to baggage, but travellers are still calling for more information

While the adoption of technology has improved passenger satisfaction across the airport journey, the biggest jump by far over the past year was at baggage collection, according to the findings of SITA’s 2019 Passenger IT Insights report.

The latest, 13th edition of the report highlights that passengers are demanding more mobile services in relation to their baggage and where these are available, satisfaction levels have surged. It is based on a survey of passengers from 19 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa, that together represent over 70% of global passenger traffic.

SITA’s research shows that 26% of passengers in 2018 used their mobile device to receive status updates on their baggage at arrival, almost double the 14% level recorded in 2017. At the same time, there is a growing demand from passengers to receive more baggage information via their mobile devices. A majority of passengers said they would definitely use mobile notifications providing information on baggage at arrival while a similar proportion said they would use their mobiles to track their bags or to report mishandled baggage.

“These mobile services have dramatically improved passenger satisfaction levels,” explains SITA in the report. In 2018, those travellers who used their mobile to receive updates at baggage collection were 8.6% more satisfied than those who relied on traditional voice announcements or flight information screens for information, according to its findings.

In fact, those who relied on traditional voice or screen announcements for updates ranked baggage collection as one of the lowest points in their journey while those receiving mobile updates perceived this step as one where they were most satisfied.

A potential force driving adoption of mobile baggage services is the growing number of checked bags in 2018. SITA data shows more than 4.3 billion bags were checked in by passengers globally in 2018, an average of 1.20 bags per person, up from 1.08 bags per passenger in 2017.

“The rise in checked baggage is likely to drive demand for more services as passengers want to know where their bags are at all times,” says Peter Drummond, director of baggage at SITA. Those airports that have invested in sophisticated systems that track bags across the journey will be well placed to deliver on traveller expectations.