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Air Travel: Most Passengers Support Mask-wearing, Says Survey

Photo source: IATA

Most air travelers are confident about the safety of air travel and support mask-wearing in the near-term, according to a passenger survey conducted in June by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

However, a majority are also frustrated with the “hassle factor” around Covid-19 protocols including confusion and uncertainty about travel rules, testing requirements, and excessive test costs.

The survey of 4,700 travelers in 11 markets around the world shows that:

– 85 percent believe aircraft are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected

– 65 percent agree the air on an aircraft is as clean as an operating room.

Among those who have traveled since June 2020, 86 percent felt safe onboard owing to Covid-19 measures:

– 89 percent believe protective measures are well implemented

– 90 percent believe airline personnel do a good job of enforcing the measures.

Passengers support face mask rule

Passengers strongly support mask wearing onboard (83 percent) and strict enforcement of mask rules (86 percent), but a majority also believe the mask requirement should be ended as soon as possible.

At the same time, participants admit that they struggle with the Covid-related rules and requirements and that this impacts their willingness to travel:

– 70 percent thought the rules and the accompanying paperwork were a challenge to understand

– 67 percent saw arranging testing as a hassle

– 89 percent agreed governments must standardize vaccinations/testing certifications.

“These responses should be a wake-up call to governments that they need to do a better job of preparing for a restart. Almost two thirds of respondents plan to resume travel within a few months of the pandemic being contained (and borders opened),” IATA Director General Willie Walsh said.

Photo source: IATA

Meanwhile, Walsh also calls on governments to replace paper-based processes with digital solutions, like the IATA Travel Pass, for vaccine and testing documentation.

Almost nine out of ten respondents like the idea of using a mobile app to store their travel health credentials and 87 percent support a secure digital system to manage health credentials.

However, 75 percent say they will only use an app if they have full control of their vaccine/test data.

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