By Sam Bridge
International Air Transport Association announces the results of its 2019 Global Passenger Survey
Biometric identification to cut waiting lists, access to Wi-Fi at 34,000 ft and maximum times for baggage collection are among the top priorities for air passengers, according to a new survey.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the results of its 2019 Global Passenger Survey showing that passengers are looking to technology to improve their travel experience.
Having more personal control over their journey via their smart phone and the ability to track their baggage were also important to passengers, the poll showed.
Passengers said they want to use their personal device to control more aspects of their travel journey from booking to arrival.
An airline app was one of the preferred method of booking for passengers from the Middle East, while using a smartphone was also identified by more than half of passengers (51 percent) globally as their preferred method of check-in. This was a 4 percent increase over 2018.
Most passengers (72 percent) also wanted to be kept informed throughout their journey via travel notifications sent to their personal device.
The survey found that 83 percent of passengers also want to receive information on the status of their flight and 45 percent would like information on their baggage. Passengers also asked for information to help them plan their passage through the airport with 45 percent wanting to know wait times at security and border control and 37 percent wanting to know wait times at customs.
The survey found that 70 percent of passengers are willing to share additional 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 percent of passengers said they would prefer to use biometric identification instead of a paper passport for their journey and 30 percent would opt to use a biometric token to board the plane.
These findings lend strong support to IATA’s One ID project which aims to create a paperless airport experience for passengers where they can move from curb to gate using a single biometric travel token such as a face, fingerprint or iris scan.
“Passengers are willing to share more personal information if it removes hassle from their travel experience. But it’s clear that concerns over data privacy remain. While the majority of passengers want to use biometric identification instead of a paper passport, 53 percent of those that did not, said they were concerned about the security of their data. Passengers need to be confident that their data is safe,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general and CEO.
Over half of passengers (53 percent) said that they would be more likely to check their bag if they were able to track it throughout the journey while 46 percent 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.
The survey indicated that 80 percent of passengers want to wait no longer than three minutes to drop off a bag. This increased to 10 minutes for queuing at immigration/customs for 79 percent of travellers while only 2 percent would accept a waiting time longer than 20 minutes and 74 percent said they want to wait no longer than 10 minutes for baggage delivery.
Some 53 percent of surveyed passengers found Wi-Fi important to have. The importance is the highest in Africa (71 percent), Latin America (68 percent) and the Middle East (67 percent) and the lowest in Europe (44 percent) and North America (49 percent).
Passengers once again identified airport security screening process and border control as two of their biggest pain points when travelling. Having to remove personal items was identified as a pain point by 60 percent, closely followed by the removal of laptops and large electronic devices (48 percent) and variations in screening processes at different airports (41 percent).For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.