New Global Survey – What Passengers Want

November 02, 2022
Photo: SITA

Airline passengers want simplification and convenience according to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 2022 Global Passenger Survey.

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Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President for Operations, Safety and Security said that “travel during COVID-19 was complex, cumbersome and time-consuming due to government-imposed travel requirements. Post-pandemic, passengers want improved convenience throughout their trip.“Digitalization and use of biometrics to speed up the travel journey is the key,” said Mr Careen.

The survey of 10,000 travellers in 222 countries found:

•        Proximity to the airport was passengers’ main priority when choosing where to fly from (75 per cent). This was more important than the ticket price (39 per cent). 

•        Travelers were satisfied with being able to pay with their preferred payment method which was available for 82 per cent of travelers. Having access to planning and booking information in one single place was identified as being a top priority.

•        Offset carbon emissions is done by 19 per cent of respondents and the main reason given by those that did not was not being aware of the option (36 per cent).

•        More than 37 per cent of travelers said they have been discouraged from traveling to a particular destination because of the immigration requirements. Process complexity was highlighted as the main deterrent by 65 per cent of travellers, 12 per cent cited costs and 8 per cent time.

•        Where visas are required, 66 per cent of travelers want to obtain a visa online prior to travel, 20 per cent prefer to go to the consulate or embassy and 14 per cent at the airport.

•        Sharing their immigration information to speed up the airport arrival process gets a big tick for 83 per cent of travelers. While this is high, it is slightly down from the 88 per cent recorded in 2021.

•        Passengers are willing to complete processing elements off-airport. Forty-four per cent of travelers identified check-in as their top pick for off-airport processing. Immigration procedures were the second most popular “top-pick” at 32, followed by baggage. And 93 per cent of passengers are interested in a special program for trusted travelers (background checks) to expedite security screening.

•        Passengers are interested in more options for baggage handling. A significant 67 per cent would be interested in a home pick-up and delivery and 73 per cent in remote check-in options. Eighty per cent of passengers said that they would be more likely to check a bag if they could monitor it throughout the journey. And 50 per cent said that they have used or would be interested in using an electronic bag tag.

•        Passengers see value in biometric identification. This is a big item for 75 per cent of passengers who said they want to use biometric data instead of passports and boarding passes. Over a third have already experienced using biometric identification in their travels, with an 88 per cent satisfaction rate. But data protection remains a concern for about half of travelers.

“Passengers clearly see technology as key to improving the convenience of airport processes,” said Mr Careen. “They want to arrive at the airport ready to fly, get through the airport at both ends of their journey more quickly using biometrics and know where their baggage is at all times.”

“The technology exists to support this ideal experience. But we need cooperation across the value chain and with governments to make it happen. And we need to continuously reassure passengers that the data needed to support such an experience will be safely kept,” said Careen.