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When buying an air ticket on your mobe - what makes you give up?

If you were Chinese, you would know

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Thirty-four per cent of Chinese flyers have booked a ticket on a mobile phone in the last year, compared to 6 per cent globally, but that's ramping up as customers expect to manage all their transactions on the move.

WorldPay, which spends most of its time processing electronic payments of all kinds, has been talking to airlines and 4,500 of their passengers to find out why they choose different payment mechanisms and what drives them to abandon bookings entirely, something on which the two groups differ sharply.

Airlines, it seems, believe the majority of abandoned bookings result from failed payments, but passengers blame the unexpected extras for driving the cost up during the booking process, so by the end of the process their fifty-quid ticket comes in at more than a ton and the browser tab gets unceremoniously closed.

One-and-a-half per cent of the bookings airlines do take are fraudulent anyway. Despite that, few of them bother blocking suspicious transactions as the fraud rate hasn't risen significantly in the last few years, though the early signs are that 2012 will buck that trend with airlines reporting that fraud is on the increase.

Booking a flight online takes an average of 25 minutes, with the Japanese being the quickest clickers at 20 minutes, and the laggardly Brazilians taking a leisurely 32 minutes to complete the process.

Most of that time, in the UK at least, is spent removing the various "optional" additions with which the airlines like to pad their rates – reserved seating, single-flight insurance and so forth – which continue to dog the process, despite legislation insisting that customers should not be automatically opted in to such things.

WorldPay reckons that in the UK we're prepared to put up with surcharges, as long as they total less than 5 per cent, but we suffer more than most: only 8 per cent of the Japanese passengers surveyed have ever noticed any surcharges added to their booking.

There are loads more statistics in the report, which includes info on national breakdowns and advice to airlines hoping to make booking easier, all in exchange for an email address – in the hope of engendering more of the online commerce from which WorldPay makes a living. ®

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