The 2022 Global Passenger Survey (GPS) by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed that top concerns by travellers in the post-Covid crisis period are focused on simplification and convenience.
“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. Digitalisation and use of biometrics to speed up the travel journey is the key,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice president for operations, safety and security.
Planning and booking
Passengers want convenience when they plan their travel and when choosing where to depart from.
Proximity to the airport was a main priority when choosing where to fly from (75%) over ticket price (39%). 82% of travellers were satisfied being able to pay with their preferred payment method and having access to planning and booking information in one single place. 18% of passengers said that they offset their carbon emissions, with 36% that did not citing the reason that they were unaware of the option.
Most travellers are willing to share their immigration information for more convenient processing, with travellers sharing they have been discouraged from travelling to a particular destination because of immigration requirements (37%).
Process complexity was highlighted as the main deterrent by 65% of travellers, 12% cited costs and 8% time.
Where visas are required, 66% of travellers want to obtain a visa online prior to travel, 20% prefer to go to the consulate or embassy, and 14% at the airport.
To speed up the airport arrival process, 83% of travellers said they would share their immigration information – slightly down from the 88% recorded in 2021.
Passengers are willing to take advantage of technology and re-thought processes to improve the convenience of their airport experience and manage their baggage.
44% of travellers identified check-in as their top pick for off-airport processing, with immigration procedures the second most popular (32%), followed by baggage. 93% of passengers showed interest in a special programme for trusted travellers (background checks) to expedite security screening.
For baggage handling, 67% are interested in home pick-up and delivery and 73% in remote check-in options. 80% of passengers said that would be more likely to check a bag if they could monitor it throughout the journey, and 50% said that they have used or would be interested in using an electronic bag tag.
In using biometric identification, 75% of passengers 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% satisfaction rate – however, data protection remains a concern for about half of travellers.
“Passengers clearly see technology as key to improving the convenience of airport processes. The technology exists to support this ideal experience, but we need cooperation across the value chain and with governments to make it happen. We need to continuously reassure passengers that the data needed to support such an experience will be safely kept,” said Careen.