According to the 2023 Global Passenger Survey of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the two most important factors for air travelers are speed and convenience.
This is true for every aspect of air travel, from planning and purchasing to security checkpoints and beyond, and travelers are anxious to see changes that facilitate faster, more convenient air travel.
The survey indicates that digital online visas, biometrics at security checkpoints, and more expeditious airport procedures, such as baggage claim, should be implemented.
Visas and Airport Operations
So many travelers who intend to visit a foreign nation struggle with stringent visa requirements. Convenient, digital online visa processes are required worldwide. In fact, 36% of travelers decided not to visit a destination due to its complex immigration requirements.
Sixty-six percent of travelers desire the ability to obtain a visa online prior to travel, while 87 percent are willing to exchange their information to expedite airport arrival procedures.
Travelers en route to an airport want everything to be expedited. 74% want to go from the curb to the boarding gate with a carry-on luggage in less than 30 minutes. Ninety-one percent of travelers are interested in an expedited security screening program for trusted travelers, similar to the United States’ TSA PreCheck program.
The way tourists think about their luggage is changing as well. 67 percent of travelers desire home pick-ups and deliveries, while 77 percent would be more likely to check a bag if they could identify and check it in before arriving at the airport. Moreover, 57 percent of travelers already use their own tracking devices to maintain track of their bags.
The Widespread Use of Biometrics
46 percent of travelers have used biometrics at airports in the past year, up from 34 percent in 2022. Seventy-five percent of people would prefer to use biometric data instead of passports and boarding passes, representing the overwhelming majority.
Travelers are extremely concerned about data security, but 40% of them would be more willing to use biometrics if they knew their personal information was safe.
Using biometric information, IATA’s One ID initiative aims to expedite airport procedures. Before even arriving at the airport, travelers can obtain all necessary pre-travel authorizations digitally directly from governments, avoiding airport document checks.
IATA’s Senior Vice President of Operations, Safety, and Security, Nick Careen, stated, “We have the standards and technology to radically improve the international travel experience. But we can only move at the pace that governments allow within their regulations. That’s why a top priority in realizing seamless One ID enabled travel is working with governments to demonstrate that border control can be more secure even while making passenger travel more convenient.”