Airline specialists say passengers want convenience, and less anxiety

Airline specialists said they recently surveyed more than 1,200 U.S. airline passengers. They said passengers expectations are changing.

They said these passengers want more convenience. And airline specialists like Mark Gallagher said this means more technology and more friendly personal connections at the airport.

Mark Gallagher is the Vice President of Airport Solutions, SITA – the North and South American branch. It’s a company that offers technology and strategy plans for airlines around the world.

Gallagher said different passengers want different kinds of convenience.

He said part of this is passengers want to know what’s going on and where they need to be – before they board the plane.

“Anxiety has a significant influence on how they transit through the airport. ‘How long is it going to take me to get from where I am to where I need to be?’, ‘When I get there, how am I sure that (my flight’s gate isn’t going) to be changed?’ I think that the concept of convenience is really rooted in ‘I want to know what’s going on, such that if I do, then I can manage how I respond to it’,” Gallagher says.

He said Millennials in particular are interested in technology in the airport.

“They’re two and a half times more likely to be influenced by an application on their smartphones. And just to put that in context, that translates to $500 billion of buying influence in the U.S. alone,” Gallagher said.

He said other passengers, like elderly adults, typically want personal connections at check in and smooth transitions along the way to the boarding gate.

Even how people buy tickets can indicate convenience preferences.

“Some of the things that have come out in our most recent survey is that passenger behaviors are significantly changing. We can see that in their buying behaviors- where the 61 percent want a more personalized experience. And we can see that in the way that they’re purchasing tickets,” Gallagher said.

This is the 9th year Airport Solutions has done the passenger trends survey.

SITA reports