Convenience is top priority for passengers post-pandemic

Posted: 3 November 2022 | | No comments yet

The International Air Transport Association has revealed that its 2022 Global Passenger Survey demonstrates that passengers top concerns for travel, in the post-COVID-19 crisis period, are focused on simple and convenient travel.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced the results of its 2022 Global Passenger Survey (GPS), showing that passengers top concerns for travel in the post-COVID-19 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. Digitalization and use of biometrics to speed up the travel journey is the key,” commented 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. Their preference is to fly from an airport close to home, have all booking options and services available in one single place, pay with their preferred payment method and easily offset their carbon emissions

  • Proximity to the airport was passengers’ main priority when choosing where to fly from (75 per cent). This was more important than ticket price (39 per cent)
  • Travellers were satisfied being able to pay with their preferred payment method which was available for 82 per cent of travellers. Having access to planning and booking information in one single place was identified as being top priority
  • 18 per cent of passengers said that they offset their carbon emissions, the main reason given by those that did not was not being aware of the option (36 per cent).

“Today’s travellers expect the same online experience as they get from major retailers like Amazon. Airline retailing is driving the response to these needs. It enables airlines to present their full offer to travellers. And that puts the passenger in control of their travel experience with the ability to choose the travel options that they want with convenient payment options,” added Muhammad Albakri, IATA Senior Vice President Financial Settlement and Distribution Services.

Travel Facilitation

Most passengers are willing to share their immigration information for more convenient processing.  

  • 37 per cent of travellers said they have been discouraged from travelling to a particular destination because of the immigration requirements. Process complexity was highlighted as the main deterrent by 65 per cent of passengers, 12 per cent cited costs and eight per cent time
  • Where visas are required, 66 per cent of travellers 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
  • 83 per cent of passengers said they would share their immigration information to speed up the airport arrival process. While this is high, it is slightly down from the 88 per cent recorded in 2021. 

“Travellers have told us that barriers to travel remain. Countries with complex visa procedures are losing the economic benefits that these passengers bring. Where countries have removed visa requirements, tourism and travel economies have thrived. And for countries requiring certain categories of travellers to get visas, taking advantage of traveller willingness to use online processes and share information in advance would be a win-win solution,” added Careen.

Airport Processes  

Passengers are willing to take advantage of technology and re-thought processes to improve the convenience of their airport experience and manage their baggage. 

  • Passengers are willing to complete processing elements off-airport. 44 per cent of passengers identified check-in as their top pick for off-airport processing. Immigration procedures were the second most popular ‘top-pick’ at 32 per cent, followed by baggage. And 93 per cent of passengers are interested in a special program for trusted passengers (background checks) to expedite security screening
  • Passengers are interested in more options for baggage handling. 67 per cent would be interested in home pick-up and delivery and 73 per cent in remote check-in options. 80 per cent of passengers said that 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. 75 per cent 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 per cent satisfaction rate. But data protection remains a concern for about half of travellers.

“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. The technology exists to support this ideal experience. But we need co-operation 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,” concluded Careen.

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