Travellers shrug off concerns to embrace biometrics

Travellers are becoming increasingly familiar and confident using biometric airport technology, a new report has revealed.

According to the 2017 SITA Passenger IT Trends Survey by SITA, traveller satisfaction is actually now higher during parts of the journey where self-service technologies are used, including biometric barrier controls.

Biometric technology has previously caused privacy concerns among travellers, but it seems that the more passengers use the technology, the more comfortable they become. And the increased speed offered by automated identity checks at passport control and boarding areas is now actually boosting passenger satisfaction.

According to the SITA study, 37% of travellers used automated ID control on their last flight. Of these, 55% said they had used biometrics at departure security, 33% for boarding and 12% for international arrivals.

And passengers who use biometrics appear to be satisfied with the experience; they rated the experience at an average of 8.4 out of 10 – above the ratings for face-to-face transactions at passport check (8) and boarding (8.2).

Looking ahead, 57% of passengers said they would use biometrics for their next trip, which SITA says demonstrates “passenger acceptance” of this technology.

“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. Airports and airlines can take note that technology solutions can boost passenger satisfaction every step of the way,” said Ilya Gutlin, SITA’s president of Air Travel Solutions.

Other areas if the passenger journey where technology was found to be increasing traveller satisfaction include self-check-in and baggage tagging, real-time baggage collection updates, and mobile airport information and directions.

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