Pas­sen­gers dread air­port checks

East African Business Week - - LIVING -

GENEVA , SWITZER­LAND: A re­cent sur­vey done by the In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion (IATA) shows that most pas­sen­gers want to get on the plane as quickly as pos­si­ble and dis­like hav­ing to open and close their hand lug­gage for check­ing more than once.

The IATA Global Pas­sen­ger Sur­vey is de­signed to give an in­de­pen­dent, in depth and ob­jec­tive snap­shot of the views of air trav­el­ers from around the world into what they want, how they be­have, why they make choices and on what they spend their money.

The sur­vey cov­ers the pref­er­ences of air trav­el­ers from the point of travel brows­ing and ticket pur­chase, on to the start of their jour­ney at a de­par­ture air­port till the point they col­lect their bags at their des­ti­na­tion.

The lat­est GPS pub­lished last month was con­ducted with sup­port from PWC, LLP and an­a­lyzed the re­sponses of nearly 7,000 pas­sen­gers from more than 145 coun­tries.

It re­veals that pas­sen­gers are look­ing for a dif­fer­ent travel ex­pe­ri­ence based on:

ar­riv­ing at the air­port ready to fly

pass­ing through se­cu­rity and bor­der con­trol once with­out hav­ing the has­sle of re­mov­ing per­sonal items

uniquely-tai­lored travel op­tions—for which they are pre­pared to of­fer their per­sonal data

hav­ing the same con­nec­tiv­ity in the air as on the ground.

There are chal­lenges to over­come with air­port se­cu­rity and bor­der con­trol pro­cesses two of the big­gest pas­sen­ger pain points

There is a clear pref­er­ence for mov­ing tra­di­tional air­port pro­cesses ‘off air­port.’

In 2016, the per­cent­age of pas­sen­gers who checkedin on­line and used a mo­bile board­ing pass rather than a printed one at least once in­creased from 69% in 2015 to 71%.

Ad­di­tion­ally, 33% of those sur­veyed wanted to self-tag their bags and 39% wanted to use elec­tronic bag tags. The GPS also re­veals that 26% were in­ter­ested in hav­ing their lug­gage picked up from home and de­liv­ered to the air­port and 24% would like to be able to drop off their lug­gage away from the air­port. A ma­jor­ity (61%) ex­pressed in­ter­est in track­ing their bag through­out the jour­ney.

To fa­cil­i­tate th­ese de­mands, air­lines are adopt­ing IATA’S bag­gage Res­o­lu­tion 753, which re­quires the abil­ity to track bags at ma­jor jour­ney points.

Pierre Char­bon­neau, the Di­rec­tor, Pas­sen­ger and Fa­cil­i­ta­tion, IATA said,

“Pas­sen­gers want to ar­rive at the air­port ready to fly by tak­ing ad­van­tage of “off air­port” dig­i­tal self-ser­vice op­tions.”

He said, “IATA is help­ing the in­dus­try make this a re­al­ity for more trav­el­ers through its Fast Travel Pro­gram. If the in­dus­try meets its in­ter­nal pro­gram goals, then, by 2020, 80% of global pas­sen­gers will have ac­cess to more self-ser­vice op­tions.”

There are chal­lenges to over­come with air­port se­cu­rity and bor­der con­trol pro­cesses two of the big­gest pas­sen­ger pain points. The top frus­tra­tions were the wide vari­a­tion in se­cu­rity screen­ing tech­niques at dif­fer­ent air­ports and the in­tru­sive­ness of hav­ing to re­move per­sonal items.

In fact, 40% of pas­sen­gers choose their route based on their air­port trans­fer ex­pe­ri­ence, mak­ing this a vi­tal area for im­prove­ment.

Part of the an­swer will cer­tainly be Smart Se­cu­rity, which is de­signed to make the air­port check­point faster and more ef­fi­cient for pas­sen­gers.

The lat­est GPS also con­firms the clear trend for con­stant con­nec­tiv­ity, even in-flight. Some 51% of pas­sen­gers—a 12% in­crease on 2015—would pre­fer to use their own de­vices on-board to ac­cess en­ter­tain­ment op­tions.

With avail­abil­ity of Wi-fi con­nec­tiv­ity con­tin­u­ing to have a di­rect im­pact on the over­all air travel ex­pe­ri­ence, adopt­ing the lat­est on-board Wi-fi tech­nol­ogy re­mains an ef­fec­tive way for air­lines to dis­tin­guish their brand.

“Pas­sen­gers want con­ve­nience and quick results with their book­ings and check-in, a seam­less and se­cure air­port ex­pe­ri­ence, and unique tai­lored ex­pe­ri­ences through­out their jour­ney,” Nick Ca­reen, the IATA’S Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent for Air­port, Pas­sen­ger, Cargo and Se­cu­rity said.

“They are ready to em­brace the ben­e­fits of new tech­nol­ogy when it comes to en­hanc­ing their travel ex­pe­ri­ence. Air­lines and air­ports that rec­og­nize this and pro­vide pas­sen­gers with easy-to-use mo­bile ser­vices, self-ser­vice op­tions, and one-stop se­cu­rity checks will im­prove the travel ex­pe­ri­ence and pas­sen­ger sat­is­fac­tion,” Ca­reen said.

PREF­ER­ENCE: The lat­est GPS also con­firms the clear trend for con­stant con­nec­tiv­ity, even in-flight with pas­sen­gers pre­fer­ring to use their own de­vices for en­ter­tain­ment.

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