Travel Trends: Passengers Want Single
Biometric Identity Token for All Travel Transactions
IATA has published the results of its 2017
Global Passenger Survey which reveals that passengers expect
technology to give them more personal control over their travel
Based on 10,675 responses from around the globe, the
survey provided insight into what passengers want from their air
travel experience. Topping the list were:
- 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 control
Digital travel processes are the expectation and
passengers want more. The Global Passenger Survey found that 82% of travelers 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% favoring 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," said Nick Careen, IATAís Senior Vice President for
Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security. "IATAís One ID project is
rapidly moving travel towards a day when a face, iris, or
fingerprint will provide the key to a seamless travel experience.
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 process more efficient for
passengers but allow governments to utilize valuable resources
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 Global Passenger Survey 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%.
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 have never been as empowered as they
are today," said Pierre Charbonneau, IATAís Director Passenger and
Facilitation. "Self-service solutions range from mobile check-in
and bag drop, to self-boarding and automated border control.
Smartphone- and tablet-toting, passengers want to use these mobile
devices to control their travel experience. They expect easy
access to the information they want, exactly when they need it in
the travel process. Airlines and airports that make the most use
of technological innovations will be giving a better travel
experience to their customers."
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.
Providing more real-time information was also
identified by 63% of passengers as the key to improving their
experience during travel disruptions.
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.
"Passengers expect to get up-to-date information
on all aspects of their journey with minimum effort, through their
preferred channel. Offering this level of personalization is
reliant on capturing, managing and understanding passenger data.
But no single member of the travel ecosystem has the capability to
optimize the end-to-end journey on their own. A global
coordination framework is needed on how passenger data is shared,
controlled and protected. The IATA personalization program aims to
provide customers with trusted, accurate real-time information
from all travel service providers throughout their journey," said
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.
The Global Passenger Survey 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
"The importance of smartphone technology, the
demand for more automation and personalization throughout the
travel process and desire to stay connected is not new to
aviation, however the Global Passenger Survey highlights the extent of the
opportunities on offer and the need for airlines and airports and
to invest significantly in this area. To satisfy travelers,
airports and airlines will need to work together to provide
passengers with easy-to-use mobile services, self-service options
and one-stop security checks to make sure they meet this demand.
But industry canít achieve this alone. Government support is
essential to change antiquated regulations before the industry can
fully transform," said Careen.
The latest IATA Global Passenger Survey (Global
analyzed the comments from passengers from more than 152 countries
across all regions in the world. You can download it
Aviation Industry Update -
Media Roundtable at AAPA's 61st Assembly of Presidents in Taipei