UK Air Passengers Are Leading Tech Adopters – A Guest Post
Passengers from the UK like self-service features
According to recent data, UK air passengers are leading tech adopters while being known as very good planners; research from the IT firm SITA has revealed that in 2015 nearly two thirds of UK airline passengers like to carry printed documents, and 61 percent like receiving updates and alerts on their flight status. Just under 60 percent of global passengers use self-service features, whereas 90 percent of UK passengers use these options, although many also check in for their flights via their PCs, laptops, or smart phones.
More UK travellers use budget airlines
This isn’t necessarily because UK air passengers are leading tech adopters are significantly more tech-savvy than other Western nations; it’s because a significant proportion of UK airline passengers travel with budget companies like EasyJet or Ryanair, which rely on low-cost self-service technology for their revenue stream.
However, fewer than 20 percent of UK passengers defined themselves as ‘open-minded adventurers’ (the Aussies lead here), and more than 60 percent identified as ‘careful planners’, suggesting that UK travellers are more grounded and cautious than those of other countries. Indeed, it always pays to be well prepared for your travelling, and one of the most important decisions you should make before you set off is to make sure you have travel insurance.
The UK has one of the highest proportions of smartphone users on the planet
Another reason for the high popularity of tech adoption in this country is the fact that, according to the firm eMarketer, the UK ranked in the top ten countries for smartphone penetration in 2014, with 62.2 percent of consumers owning at least one smartphone. Interestingly, the United States was ranked lower on the list, at 56.4 percent, while the highest was Singapore, at 71.7 percent. Already, 19 percent of tech-savvy European travellers book their holidays on their phones, and the majority use travel apps and websites to book their hotels and flights.
The dominance of the English language
Another potential explanation for the high usage of travel apps and self-service features in the UK is the fact that English is the global language. On any flight journey, it is a rarity not to hear the announcements in English first before the official language of the departure destination. In fact, shockingly, on some flights between Madrid and Rome, the announcements are only in English and Spanish.
Self-service machines are easier to use if you speak English
English is the language of technology, and the app world will continue to have a strong English bias for many years to come. To a great extent, English is also the language of the business world and customer service.
For example, if someone has a problem with a self-service machine at an airport, if they speak a language that none of the airport staff understand, it will take longer for the problem to be resolved. However, if the customer speaks English, it is likely that most of the staff will have an intermediate or fluent level of English, at least at major international airports.
Many self-service machines will only have a limited number of languages to choose from, which in Europe will often include English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian. Therefore, people who don’t speak these languages will always find themselves at a disadvantage.
- License: Image author owned
Laura Reeve is the Marketing Executive for Avanti Travelcare, who specialise in travel insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions, and are one of very few that have no upper age limit on their policies.
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