Airline passengers seek convenience after Covid disruption

Airline passengers rate convenience as the most important factor when booking a flight, with the vast majority saying being able to fly from a local airport is more of a priority than ticket price.

Travelers also want technology to be used more widely to simplify their journeys, according to the International Air Transport Association’s 2022 Global Passenger Survey of more than 10,000 people from more than 200 countries.

Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President for Operations, Safety and Security, said: “Travel during Covid-19 was complex, cumbersome and time consuming due to government mandated travel requirements. After the pandemic, passengers want improved convenience throughout their journey. Digitization and the use of biometrics to expedite travel is key. »

Proximity to the airport was a top priority for 75% of travellers, well ahead of ticket price (39%). They also want access to scheduling and booking information in one place, as well as being able to use their preferred payment method.

Most airline passengers (83%) are also willing to share their immigration information to speed up the airport arrival process.

“Travellers told us that barriers to travel remain,” Careen said. “Countries with complex visa procedures lose the economic benefits that these travelers bring. Where countries have abolished visa requirements, tourism and travel economies have flourished.

“For countries requiring certain categories of travelers to obtain visas, leveraging travelers’ willingness to use online processes and share information in advance would be a win-win solution.”

The survey found almost a fifth (18%) said they currently offset their carbon emissions by flying, with 51% of those travelers aged under 40. The main reason cited for those who do not compensate their thefts is that they were not aware of the possibility of doing so (36%).

In terms of airport processes, passengers were particularly interested in completing check-in before arriving at the airport, as well as participating in “trusted” traveler programs to expedite security screening.

The use of biometric identification, which 75% of passengers would like to use instead of passports and boarding passes, was also favourable. More than a third of respondents have already used biometric identification when traveling, with an 88% satisfaction rate. Although around half of travelers are still concerned about data protection.

“Passengers clearly see technology as key to improving the convenience of airport processes,” Careen added. “They want to arrive at the airport ready to fly, get through the airport at both ends of their journey faster thanks to biometrics, and know where their luggage 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. We must continually reassure passengers that the data needed to support such an experience will be kept safe.

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