The International Air Transport Association (IATA) 2019 Global Passenger Survey found that increasingly, air travelers want better control over their journey and are counting on technology, including their own smartphones, to help that process.
The IATA survey, based on 10,877 responses from passengers across 166 countries, found air travelers are also increasingly looking to biometric identification to speed up the process of getting on their flights.
The report found 70 percent of passengers are willing to share additional personal information, including their biometric identifiers, to speed up processes at the airport, and 46 percent of passengers would prefer to use biometric identification instead of a paper passport for their journey. Passengers also voiced a strong preference for onboard Wi-Fi during their flights.
An airline app is the preferred method of booking for passengers from one of the world’s largest aviation markets, with 24 percent of travelers from North Asia preferring this method. Booking through an airline website, although less popular than in 2018, remains the method of choice for most travelers globally at 39 percent. Using a smartphone was also identified by more than half of passengers (51 percent) as their preferred method of check-in, up slightly from the previous year.
The survey found that 83 percent of passengers want to receive information on the status of their flight and 45 percent would like information on their baggage. Passengers also ask 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.
Passengers once again identified airport security screening process and border control as two of their biggest pain points when traveling. To improve the boarding experience, the top three suggestions from passengers are more efficient queuing at the boarding gate, not needing to get a bus to the aircraft and more bin space for cabin luggage.