Pax Want Technology To Improve The Air Travel Experience

Open Jaw

IATA has announced the results of its 2016 Global Passenger Survey (GPS) which indicates that pax are looking for technology to improve their travel experience.

Based on 6,920 responses from around the globe, the survey provides insight into what pax want from their air travel experience. Topping the list were:

  • Arriving at the airport ready to fly
  • Passing through security and border control once without having to remove personal items
  • Uniquely-tailored travel options – and passengers are prepared to offer their personal data to access them
  • Having the same connectivity in the air as on the ground  

The survey reveals pax want to be able to do more of the traditional airport processes ‘off airport’ by taking advantage of the latest digital self-service options. In 2016 the percentage of pax who checked-in online and used a mobile boarding pass rather than a printed one increased from 69% in 2015 to 71%. 

The GPS found that the majority of pax are keen to see the baggage process shaken up with 33% of those surveyed wanting to self-tag their bags and 39% to use electronic bag tags. A considerable number of pax would like to travel to the airport ‘baggage free’: 26% want their luggage picked up from home and delivered to the airport and 24% want to be able to drop off their luggage away from the airport. In addition, 61% of pax expressed interest in tracking their bag throughout the journey. Airlines are facilitating this by adopting IATA’s baggage Resolution 753 which tracks bags at major journey points such as loading and unloading.  

"Passengers want to arrive at the airport ready to fly by taking advantage of ‘off airport’ digital self-service options. IATA is helping the industry make this a reality for more travellers through its Fast Travel Program. If the industry meets its internal program goals, then by 2020, 80% of global passengers will have access to more self-service options," said Pierre Charbonneau, IATA’s Director, Passenger & Facilitation.

Pax identified airport security and border control processes as 2 of their biggest pain points when travelling. The top frustrations were the wide variation in security screening procedures at different airports and the intrusiveness of having to remove personal items. A majority of pax only want to pass through security and border control once during their journey.

Pax also want airlines and airports to offer them a more customized travel experience with 85% willing to provide more personal data to make this happen. And, they also want to be fully connected on board preferably through their own devices. The GPS found that 51% of pax, a 12% increase on 2015, would prefer to use their own devices on-board to access entertainment options.

With availability of Wi-Fi connectivity continuing to have a direct impact on the overall air travel experience, adopting the latest on-board Wi-Fi technology remains an effective way for airlines to distinguish their brand.

"Passengers want convenience and quick results with their bookings and check-in, a seamless and secure airport experience and uniquely tailored experiences throughout their journey. They are ready to embrace the benefits of new technology when it comes to enhancing their travel experience. Airlines and airports that recognize this and provide passengers with easy-to-use mobile services, self-service options and one-stop security checks will improve the travel experience and passenger satisfaction," said Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo & Security. 

The latest IATA Global Passenger Survey (GPS), conducted with support from PwC, LLP analyzed the comments from pax from more than 145 countries across all regions in the world.

(will not be published)