sita mexican airports.jpg Airline passengers at Mexico’s airports have high levels of smartphone ownership and increasingly use their mobile devices to book, check-in and board their flights. These are the results of a survey released today by global air transport IT provider, SITA.

The SITA Passenger IT Trends Survey 2015, carried out at six international airports in Mexico that together manage 72% of all the country’s passenger traffic, reports that Mexico’s passengers are truly ‘connected travelers’. Today, 84% carry a smartphone – this is considerably higher than average ownership across the population of Mexico which is closer to 25%[1]. In addition, 50% of passengers carry a laptop, 35% a tablet and 15% carry all three.

There is a strong desire among Mexico’s passengers to use their mobile devices. By 2016, nearly one third (31%) will book flights using a mobile device. While the rate of check-in using a mobile device will more than double from today’s 10% up to 24%. Using a mobile device to board is also becoming increasingly popular with 18% expecting to do so by their next flight. The survey indicates a preference among Mexico’s passengers to move from face-to-face services to mobile.

Mexican passengers are happier than the average global airline passenger – on average 85% feel positive emotions across the ten steps of the journey which SITA measured, peaking at 97% during dwell time. During this part of the journey, 81% of Mexican passengers value entertainment the most while 75% enjoy eating and drinking – higher than the average passenger in other parts of the world.

Alex Covarrubias, SITA Vice President, Latin American and Caribbean, said: “This survey gives Mexico’s airlines and airports insight into the experience and preferences of their passengers. It is very encouraging that passengers are overwhelmingly happy with their current experience. Looking ahead, knowing that mobile services are the desired use for the future can help direct industry leaders to consider these and other self-service options, such as bag drop, to help them efficiently manage growing passenger numbers.”

As with passengers in other parts of the world, Mexicans who use their mobiles would like flight updates available to them. But interestingly, more than 60% of them would also like to use their phones for secure ID, access or to make payments. These rates are higher than in other parts of the world and indicate that Mexican passengers are open to adopting new mobile technologies at airports.

When it comes to baggage, 92% of Mexican passengers check-in bags, which is higher than the global average of 81%. And in the future, more and more passengers at Mexican airports will choose self-service options to check in them in. In fact, by next year only 34% expect to drop their bags at an airline check-in counter compared to a global average of 59%. This demonstrates that self bag drop options would be welcomed by passengers across Mexico.

The results of the survey were released today at a forum, co-hosted by SITA and CIFAL at the Instituto Politécnico Nacional in Mexico City, to explore how the right technology infrastructure can enable a more seamless and personalized passenger journey.