Tech-Savvy Travelers Embrace Mobile Flight Tracking Technologies, According to New FlightView Survey

Increased Demand for Mobile Access to Real-Time Flight Information Puts Pressure on Airports and Airlines


BOSTON, MA (May 10, 2011) - Smart phone usage among America's frequent travelers continues to climb - currently at 75 percent, according to PhoCusWright. As more travelers and visitors move to checking flight status and travel information through mobile websites and applications, cash-strapped U.S. airports and airlines are struggling to keep up - and looking for guidance on where to invest, first.

FlightView, a leading provider of mobile technologies for the travel industry, took to the terminals of Boston Logan International Airport to find out what travelers need and want most. While both mobile websites and native applications are growing in popularity, travelers have a clear preference when it comes to relying on airports and airlines for real-time travel information:

  • For airports, 62 percent of travelers prefer to check flight status on mobile websites while only 38 percent prefer mobile native apps.
  • For airlines, 55 percent of travelers prefer to use mobile native apps to check flight status while only 45 percent prefer mobile websites.
  • Overall, 50 percent of respondents still rely on an airline's traditional website for flight updates - an indication that not enough airlines and airports are making information available on mobile.

"More people are relying on mobile technology on the day of travel than ever before," said Mike Benjamin, CEO of FlightView. "Airports and airlines need to figure out how to meet their customers' changing needs - without breaking the bank."

At the airport, travelers continue to rely heavily on airport digital displays as soon as they arrive. More than 80 percent of respondents indicated that airport display boards are the first place they turn to check their flight status upon arriving. Afterwards, when sitting in a food court, gate area or lounge, travelers often check updates on their mobile device. FlightView's survey discovered that mobile tools not only simplify travel, but are a key competitive advantage for airlines and airports. 72 percent of travelers ranked having a mobile-ready website as a critical feature for airlines, while 65 percent said it was of high importance for airports.

Meeting Customer Demand: Mobile Websites vs. Applications

"In an ideal world, airports and airlines would make both native apps and mobile websites available for travelers and those picking them up," said Benjamin. "But with limited resources, most have to make a choice on what comes first."

For airports, mobile websites are more affordable because only one platform needs to be developed, as opposed to creating separate native apps for the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. Additionally, when looking up airport information, travelers typically don't need to save personal information or preferences - a key advantage of mobile native apps. With travelers visiting many different airports every year, they're more likely to look for airports' mobile sites via a Web browser search than download a separate app for each airport they visit.

For airlines, travelers often need to access and save personal information - like frequent flier numbers, mobile check-in and mobile boarding passes - and this advanced functionality can easily be built into mobile native apps to meet this demand. While more expensive to develop, having an airline-specific app for travelers to interact with and book tickets on will improve customer retention.

With a 30-year track record of providing airports and airlines with accurate and visually-appealing flight information, FlightView is in a unique position to help airlines and airports quickly implement mobile solutions. The company's already-built mobile framework is tailored specifically to deal with the nuances of flight tracking and is a cost-effective and proven alternative to third-party Web developers. FlightView's own mobile website and travel apps, available on the Android, iPhone, Blackberry and Palm, are the leading, trusted smart phone native apps for more than 400,000 users nationwide.

About FlightView

FlightView is the recognized provider of the most accurate, real-time flight information solutions for the aviation and travel industries. FlightView's Dispatch and FVXML products help aviation and travel professionals achieve superior customer service with actionable real-time information. FlightView's information displays can be seen at airport terminals and on the Web sites of the largest major airports, airline and travel companies. FlightView's software services and solutions are relied upon by the US government, the world's largest airlines, airports, aviation and travel professionals, ground transportation companies and news outlets. Founded in 1981, and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, FlightView has more than 20 years of experience in building and supporting mission critical systems for the FAA and the Volpe Center. To access real-time flight information online, visit FlightView Flight Tracker or FlightView Mobile Flight Tracker.

FlightView Contact:

Katherine Wellman
VP of Marketing
(617) 787-4200

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