After two years of confusing and ambiguous restrictions and measures due to Covid-19, travelers want simplicity and convenience during travel, according to research released this week by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
According to IATA’s 2022 Global Passenger Survey (GPS) based on over 10,000 responses from participants in 222 countries, simplification and convenience are a top concern for travel post-Covid as well as speedy check-in, passport, visa and baggage processes.
Indicatively, 75 percent of those polled said proximity to the airport was a top priority when choosing where to fly from. Ticket price came second to this for 39 percent.
The majority at 82 percent said they were satisfied with being able to pay with their preferred payment method.
The environment was also a concern for 19 percent of passengers.
According to the IATA report findings, most travelers are willing to share their immigration information for more convenient processing with 83 percent saying they would do so to speed up the airport arrival process. Indicatively, 37 percent said they have been discouraged from traveling to a particular destination because of the immigration requirements while 65 percent said process complexity was a main deterrent. With regard to visa procedures, 66 percent said they wished to obtain a visa online prior to travel.
“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 Nick Careen, IATA senior vice president for Operations, Safety and Security.
Passengers polled said they were willing to complete processing elements off-airport with 44 percent identifying check-in as their top pick for off-airport processing and 93 percent interested in a special program for trusted travelers to expedite security screening.
Among those surveyed, 75 percent said they want to use biometric data instead of passports and boarding passes.
“Passengers clearly see technology as key to improving the convenience of airport processes. 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,” said Careen.
“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.”