Filipino travelers are looking for safer ways to travel amid the global pandemic, making contactless solutions indispensable in their travel experience, according to a survey commissioned by AirAsia Philippines.
The survey, conducted in December last year, showed that 62 percent of Filipinos traveling in the next 180 days had contactless travel touchpoints as among their prime concerns, followed by value for money and better flight timing. Included in the points of contact they hoped would be digitized were passenger boarding and booking process.
“AirAsia is among the first airlines in the Philippines to embrace digitalization. We aimed at making the travel experience frictionless, ridding the need for long queues in counters and face-to-face interactions, consequently ensuring guest safety,” said Ricky Isla, chief executive of AirAsia Philippines.
“Processes like document verification and flight check-ins, for instance, can be done at least 24 hours prior to departure through the AirAsia Super App, hence enabling a simpler and more convenient travel experience. At AirAsia, guests can enjoy various options that make traveling in the new normal easier and safer,” he said.
Since the onset of the global pandemic, AirAsia Philippines has fortified its partnership with the country’s top e-wallet solutions, GCash and PayMaya, to broaden its array of convenient and secure payment options as guests prefer to limit their face-to-face transactions.
The recent survey revealed that this pivot to contactless solutions is in agreement with current traveling behavior as 31 percent of the travelers said they used mobile e-wallets in purchasing their tickets.
Meanwhile, 29 percent said they used credit cards, while 18 percent used other forms of mobile and internet banking.
The survey said that for the travelers, using non-contact payments helped promote a convenient and time saving, more secure and safe transaction. Only 6 percent said they would pay cash while 2 percent still preferred over-the-counter payments.
Guests who book their tickets online also preferred to access the airline’s website via their mobile phones (43 percent) and their laptop or computer (37 percent). Another 27 percent said they would also use the airline’s mobile app if available.
AirAsia offers flexibility for its guests traveling during the pandemic, providing unlimited move flight options until March 26, 2022, and waiving charge fees for those affected with flight disruptions.
Guests with uncertain travel plans may also opt to convert bookings into credit accounts which can all be done through the Super App.
“Contactless solution is the new and better way to travel. AirAsia will never stop finding ways to simplify air travel during these times. We will continue with our digitization and move forward with it while continuing to promote health and safety in all of our flights,” Isla said.
The airline is expected to launch the world’s first facial recognition technology for contactless check-in procedure FACES in second quarter or third quarter of 2022.
The facial recognition service, which is available via Super App, is expected to add another layer of health and safety protection for AirAsia guests as the app would only require them to take a selfie, upload a copy of their passport or national ID and go through a 1-time verification process at the check-in counter.