LOW-COST carrier Philippines AirAsia, Inc. on Tuesday said that most Filipino travelers now prefer contactless solutions, especially for passenger boarding and booking process.

Citing a survey it commissioned in December 2021, the airline said that “62% of Filipinos traveling in the next 180 days have contactless travel touchpoints as among their prime concerns, followed by value for money and better flight timing.”

The low-cost carrier hired Tangere, a big-data analytics firm, to conduct a survey of 1,605 respondents aged 18 to 60 years old from Metro Manila, balanced Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

“The recent survey revealed that this pivot to contactless solutions is in agreement with current traveling behavior as 31% of the travelers said they use mobile e-wallets in purchasing their tickets,” the airline noted.

It also said that 29% of the respondents use their credit cards, while 18% use other forms of mobile and internet banking.

“For the travelers, using non-contact payments helps promote a convenient and time saving, more secure and safe transaction.”

Only 6% of the respondents indicated that they would pay in cash, while 2% still prefer over-the-counter payments.

“Guests who book their tickets online also prefer to access the airline’s website via their mobile phones (43%) and their laptop or computer (37%),” the airline noted.

“Another 27% said they would also use the airline’s mobile app if available,” it added.

The airline intends to launch this year a facial recognition technology for contactless check-in procedure.

The service 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 one-time verification process at the check-in counter,” Philippines AirAsia said. — Arjay L. Balinbin