BARCELONA, 24 October 2017: Airline passengers expect technology to give them more personal control over their travel experience according to the International Air Transport Association’s 2017 Global Passenger Survey (GPS).
Based on 10,675 responses, worldwide, the survey provided insight into what passengers want from their air travel experience. Topping the list was a demand for more automation of airport processes.
Other items of the wish-list included the dissemination of information to mobile devices.
Automation of more airport processes;
A single identity token for all travel processes using biometric identification;
Real-time information sent directly to personal devices;
More efficient security – without having to remove, or unpack personal items;
More seamless border controls.
Ready to go digital
Digital travel processes are the expectation and passengers want more. The GPS found that 82% of travellers would like to be able to use a digital passport on their smartphones for as many travel activities as possible, from booking flights to passing through the airport. Biometric identification systems were the technology of choice with 64% favouring biometric identifiers as their preferred travel token.
“Passengers want to use one single biometric identity token for all their travel transactions from booking flights to passing security and border control and picking up their bags.
The technology exists. Its use in aviation needs to be accelerated. Governments need to take the lead by working with industry to establish a trusted framework and agreeing the global standards and security protocols needed to use the technology. One ID will not only make the process more efficient for passengers, but will also allow governments to utilise valuable resources more effectively” said, IATA’s senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security Nick Careen.
Passengers in control
Passengers want to be able to do more of the airport processes themselves by taking advantage of the latest digital self-service options. Baggage was the top activity that passengers wanted more control over.
The research found that 68% of those surveyed want to self-tag their bags with electronic bag-tags being the preferred option. In addition 48% of passengers wanted to self-drop their bag.
The survey found that the number of passengers using automated immigration gates and kiosks increased by 6% in 2017, reaching 58% with a satisfaction rate of 90%. Boarding the aircraft was another area in which passengers wanted to have more control with 72% of passengers preferring to self-board, an increase of 2% over 2016.
Passengers want airlines and airports to keep them informed throughout their journey. The survey found that 85% of passengers want to be able to check the status of their flight and 50% want to track their bag throughout the trip. Passengers also wanted more information to help then plan their passage through the airport with 51% wanting to know wait times at security and border control and 58% wanting to know wait times at arrival customs, a 17% increase on 2016.
SMS messaging remains the preferred option for receiving travel notifications. However, this trend is reversing with 28% of passenger preferring communication through smartphone apps and 26% through email.
Passenger pain points
Passengers once again identified airport security and border control processes as two of their biggest pain points when travelling. The top frustrations were the intrusiveness of having to remove personal items (60%), the inconvenience of having to unpack electronic devices in carry-on bags (52%) and the variation in security screening procedures at different airports (47%).
To make security and border control areas as safe, effective and hassle-free as possible for passengers, the industry needs to embrace new Smart Security technology.
Bring your own device
The GPS found that 42% of passengers, would prefer to use their own devices – Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – to access inflight entertainment options. Greater connectivity promises to be a win for both the carriers and the passengers they carry.
The latest IATA Global Passenger Survey (GPS) analysed the comments from passengers from more than 152 countries across all regions in the world. To read the GPS 2017 full report and highlights, visit www.iata.org/gps