Indian travelers seek more from technology


83 percent of Indian passengers want airlines to install new technologies to provide live travel updates via their mobiles. Source:

TRAVELERS in India want to see more self-service options implemented in their journeys, as an increasing number of Indian people become more familiar with technology.

Airline passengers are realizing that using technology within their journey planning – and while they are at the airport – adds much-needed ease and simplicity to what could potentially be a stressful trip.

According to the 2017 SITA Passenger IT Trends Survey, 87 percent of the 1,900 Indian airline passengers surveyed said they already use online check-in and booking services. But the survey also revealed technology is steadily infiltrating other parts of the journey.

One of the new areas technology is affecting is self-service bag-drop off. While its adoption is not yet as widely used as other technologies, it has climbed a solid 21 percent from 12 percent back in 2016.

Airlines also have issues when it comes to directly communicating with passengers before they get to the airport. Emails and text alerts have sufficed in the past but now 83 percent of passengers are insisting airlines install new technologies to provide live travel updates via their mobiles.

This demand for technology does not just help to make the passenger’s journey better. Eighty-two percent of survey participants said they would use their mobiles to report mishandled bags, and 79 percent would use it to track their bags in real time. This could considerably cut the need to have staff on help desks and could automatically log complaints without messy paperwork.

“In India, travelers are increasingly demanding the use of self-service and mobile technology in the airport to speed up their journey. This expectation, in many cases, is running ahead of availability in Indian airports today,” said Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern and Southern Africa.

Another technology set to enhance the travel sphere, and one that is welcomed by most Indian passengers, is biometrics.

Biometrics work by using features on a human such as retinas or fingerprints to confirm a person’s identity. India’s biometric system is the largest in the world and Indian passengers are keen for airlines to integrate the already one billion strong member network into the travel industry.

“Many travelers are comfortable with the use of biometrics and see the benefits of using them on their travels. This aligns perfectly with the need to find more efficient ways to manage rising passenger numbers with current resources. There is little doubt that technology is the key to resolving India’s constraints on airport infrastructure,” added Jaikrishna.