IATA Survey Identifies What Pax Want: More Control, Less Waiting

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Passengers want more certainty and less waiting throughout their travel process. 

That's a key takeaway from IATA's 2019 Global Passenger Survey that examined processes and technology in the travel experience (not airline or airport service levels) and how it impacts air travellers around the world.

The 2019 survey results were based on 10,877 responses from passengers across 166 countries.

Top passenger priorities include: 

Smart phone interactions that ease travel 
Booking through an airline website, although less popular than in 2018, remains the method of choice for most travellers globally (39%). However, using a smartphone was identified by 51% of passengers as their preferred method of check-in. This was a 4% increase over 2018.

Most passengers also wanted to be kept informed throughout their journey (for matters like flight and baggage status, airport maps, security wait times) via travel notifications sent to their cell phones. SMS remains the preferred notification option, but this trend has been decreasing, with preference for receiving information via an app increasing by 10% since 2016.

Biometrics to speed up travel processes
70% of pax are willing to share personal information -- including their biometric identifiers -- to speed up processes at the airport. This increases in correlation with the number of flights taken per year.

In addition, 46% of passengers would prefer to use biometric identification instead of a paper passport.

Those against the use biometric identification instead of a paper passport said they were concerned about the security of their data

Baggage tracking
Over half of passengers (53%) said that they would be more likely to check their bag if they were able to track it throughout the journey. And 46% said that they want to be able to track their bag and have it delivered directly to an off-airport location, if that service were available.

Lower wait times
About three-quarters of passengers say a maximum of three minutes should be spent to drop off a bag, 10 minutes for queuing at immigration/customs, and 10 minutes for baggage delivery. Speed was the main benefit of using automated immigration kiosks, and the majority gave the overall experience of automated immigration processing a thumbs up.

Onboard Wi-Fi
53% of passengers said onboard Wi-Fi was important to have. Adopting the latest onboard Wi-Fi technology continues to be an effective way for airlines to distinguish their product offering.

Pain Points
Passengers once again identified airport security screening process and border control as two of their biggest pain points when travelling.

To improve the boarding experience, pax suggested:


·         More efficient queuing at the boarding gate (60%)

·         Not needing to get a bus to the aircraft (51%)

·         More bin space for cabin luggage (46%)


To improve the connection experience, pax suggested:


·         Not having to go through security at the transfer airport (60%)

·         Not having to pick up and reclaim their bag at the transfer airport (59%)

·         Not having to pass immigration at the transfer airport (55%)

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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