Check-in queues could be a thing of the past as SITA Information Networking Computing (SITA INC), has partnered with Siemens Business Services to provide advanced mobile passenger services. The first result of this partnership will be the launch of a new mobile phone check-in service system for airline passengers.SITA Mobile Check-in will not only cut queues at airports and improve the passenger experience, but it will also significantly help to drive down costs. It is cost-effective because the airline has minimal upfront investment and only pays when the passenger uses the service. This “per passenger charge” means that the airlines costs are controllable and predictable, moving directly in line with the passenger traffic.
Announcing the future service at IATA’s Simplifying the Business Conference in Geneva, Francesco Violante, Managing Director, SITA INC, commented “Controlling costs and increasing choice for passengers are two of the key demands made of the air transportation industry today and SITA Mobile Check-in addresses each of them. Additionally, it will be a solution that is in line with existing industry directions as it uses bar codes for boarding pass information.”
“The air transport industry has identified the need, and the benefits, of reducing complexities and SITA is committed to helping airlines and airports meet these needs. SITA Mobile Check-in will do this by putting check-in in the hands of the passenger,” he added.
SITA Mobile Check-in will work cost effectively across multiple airlines. As one solution that can be used across the industry, it allows for interline check-in and can support alliance, bilateral and other partnership agreements. It can be used by any airline from low cost to full service. Live testing of the service will take place in the next few months with phased availability planned for later in 2005.
Marco Antonio Bologna, CEO of TAM, the first Latin American airline that plans to offer this service, remarked, “With our continued growth in passenger figures and our commitment to providing the highest level of customer service and convenience, we are working with airports to reduce passenger queuing and congestion. SITA Mobile Check-in is a practical example of how we will do this. “
Developed by the partners, SITA and Siemens Business Services, the service uses the very latest GPRS, bar code and Java technologies. “Our partnership with SITA has allowed us to harness these new, customer-friendly and efficient technologies which are being used in other sectors and adapt them for the airline industry,” commented Peter Marburger, Head of Transportation & Logistics, Siemens Business Services. The joint expertise of these companies has resulted in a solution that will provide airline passengers with an easy to use graphical interface, incorporating seat maps and airline branding. It is the only mobile check- in service that provides live and interactive seat maps letting passengers select the best available seat. Take up of this service by passengers is expected to be high as they will be able complete their own check-in with just a few presses on their mobile phone.
Francesco Violante commented: “Passengers are playing an increasingly active role in the management of their travel. SITA Mobile Check-in takes that a step further, it will offer them even greater choice and flexibility and a faster path through the airport. This will benefit the airlines by allowing them to deploy their resources elsewhere.”