SITA global survey finds biometrics increases airline passenger satisfaction

June 27, 2017 - 

SITA has released the results of its “2017 SITA Passenger IT Trends Survey”, which found that airline passenger satisfaction is higher when self-service technologies, such as biometrics, are used.

Co-sponsored by Air Transport World, the survey revealed that passengers rate their journey an overall satisfaction rate of 8.2 of out 10.

However, the same respondents rated the journey even higher when technologies are used, particularly at bag tag and collection, and passport checkpoints.

“Passengers are increasingly comfortable with the use of technology in their everyday lives, and they are demanding more services as they appreciate the benefits technology can bring to their journey,” lya Gutlin, president of air travel solutions at, SITA, said. “Airports and airlines can take note that technology solutions can boost passenger satisfaction every step of the way.”

The survey found that technology, such as biometrics, can support security while offering a more pleasing passenger experience.

Automated identity checks at passport control and boarding boosts passenger satisfaction. Of the 37 percent of travelers who said they used automated ID control on their last flight, 55 percent said they had used biometrics at departure security, 33 percent for boarding and 12 percent for international arrivals.

Meanwhile, 57 percent of passengers surveyed said they would use biometrics for their next trip.

The survey found that passengers who use biometrics are highly satisfied, with respondents rating the experience 8.4, well above the ratings for face-to-face transactions at passport check (8) and boarding (8.2).

Additionally, 58 percent of passengers who checked in bags for their last flight received real-time bag-collection information upon arrival.

These passengers rated their experience 8.4 out of 10, which is significantly higher than those who did not receive any information.

The survey also found that 57 percent of passengers would use biometrics to provides a more seamless identification each step of the air travel experience.

This 12th edition of the SITA/ATW Passenger IT Trends Survey was conducted with more than 7,000 passengers from 17 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa representing nearly 75 percent of global passenger traffic.

Earlier this month, Bahrain’s Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications selected Thales and SITA to provide the security and operations management system — which will include biometrics and other technologies — for Bahrain International Airport.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.