Here’s What Airline Passengers Want from Their Travel Experiences According to IATA

Airline passengers want more empowerment and liberty about their travel decision and flight information. Passengers are looking to new technology to give them more control, information and improve efficiency when they travel.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the results of its 2018 Global Passenger Survey (GPS). This survey was based on 10,408 responses from 145 countries. It provides insight into what passengers would like from their air travel experience.

Here’s what the airline passengers consider the most important things in making their air travel easier:

  1. Real time journey information delivered to their personal devices
  2. Biometric identification to facilitate their travel processes
  3. Automation of more airport processes
  4. Wait times of less than 10 minutes at security / immigration
  5. Their bags tracked throughout their journey
  6. A human touch when things go wrong
  7. Real Time Journey Information

Passengers want to be kept informed throughout their journey, preferably via their personal device. About 82 percent passengers wanted to receive information on flight status, 49 percent about baggage and 46 percent on waiting time at security and immigration. Real-time baggage tracking throughout the journey was seen as a must for 56 percent of passengers.

The majority of passengers (65 percent) are willing to share personal data for expedited security. About 45 percent are willing to replace their passports with biometric identification.

Passengers also want more self-service options. Automated check-in was preferred by 84 percent of the passengers. According to the survey, 47 percent of the passengers prefer to check-in online using a smartphone. Only 16 percent preferred traditional check-ins.

IATA’s survey also revealed that most passengers  want self-service baggage check-ins. Only one in three travelers prefers an agent to tag their bag. The electronic bag tag is growing in popularity – favored by 39 percent of passengers.

A personal touch is still preferred by some market segments and for certain situations. Consider senior travelers (65 years and older), and they have a strong preference for traditional check-ins. In cases when there are travel disruptions, 40 percent of all age groups of passengers want to resolve the situation over the phone and 37 percent via face-to-face interaction.

Despite airlines makes their system efficient, turnaround times are reducing. However, passengers identified airport security / border control and boarding processes as two of their biggest pain points when travelling. The top frustrations with security were the intrusiveness of having to remove personal items – 57 percent hated the removal of laptops / large electronic devices from cabin bags, while 41 percent of the passengers complained about lack of consistency in screening procedures at different airports.