Passengers Want Tech to Smooth Air Travel

Checking bags, printing boarding passes and flight delays are among the hassles travelers want technology to solve, a survey found.

According to the “2013 NCR Traveler Experience” survey by NCR Corporation, most travelers want technology to smooth the bumps of travel and make trips easier and more convenient. Tasks such as checking bags, securing early boarding and finding and booking alternate flights were among the top mentions.

Slightly more than a quarter of respondents (28%) said they were frustrated by waiting in line to check a bag after checking in online or via mobile device. Almost 19% of those surveyed said they did not check a bag because of the anticipated delay. In order to avoid waiting in line for an agent, a substantial majority (80%) said they would be willing to print their own luggage tags.

Expenses invited both those willing to be enticed to spend money if offered discounts—49% said they’d be more likely to make a purchase at an airport if they received a coupon on the back of their boarding pass, 39% as part of their mobile boarding pass and 29% through airport digital signage—and those offered convenience in return—51% said they’d be willing to pay a nominal fee at a gate-side kiosk for priority boarding to avoid having to check bags at the last minute.

Flight delays and cancellations are a source of misery. More than half  (66%) said they’d experienced delayed or canceled flights; 44% had to wait more than an hour to be rebooked and 77% would like the opportunity to search for and book their own alternate flight via a mobile phone or a kiosk in the terminal rather than wait in line for an agent.

And the on-board experience also invited responses: 21% have had to check carry-on bags because overhead bins were full, and 19% wanted a blanket or snack, but there were none left to purchase. 

The survey of some 5,000 adult consumers in the U.S., the U.K., the United Arab Emirates, China and Brazil was conducted online by NCR Corporation in Duluth, Georgia.