IATA global survey reveals what travellers want in 2017

The IATA 2017 Global Passenger Survey has finally arrived, and it shows travellers are somewhat satisfied, like to do things themselves, and are all about the digital.

This year, 10,675 respondents across 153 countries contributed to the GPS by taking part in the online survey.

They were invited to participate via social media, online advertisement, email campaigns and word of mouth. So we’ve dug into the highlights for your reading pleasure.

Basically, what IATA claims passengers are telling them involve some of the following:

  • “My time is precious”
  • “I’m ready to go digital”
  • “I want to know what’s happening with my flight”
  • “When in-flight I want to be entertained”
  • “I am in full control when new technologies are available”

To put it simply, the average level of satisfaction with the last flight respondents had was 51 per cent, which when you think about it is pretty low.

As for what drives their satisfaction ratings, well:

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And as you can see, border control/immigration and in-flight entertainment were the biggest sore spots from 2016 to 2017:

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Check out these other fascinating trends:

Electronic boarding is standard

  • 74 per cent of passengers used an electronic boarding pass on a smartphone in past 12 months, up from 2016
  • Another increase involved 64 per cent choosing biometric identification as their preferred travelling token
  • 82 per cent would like to be able to use a digital passport on their smartphones  for as many travel activities as they can. That includes moving through airport security and boarding, to booking flights as well

I can do it by myself

  • 49 per cent of passengers prefer self-bag drop (46 per cent in 2016)
  • When it comes to boarding the plane, 72 per cent of passengers prefer self-boarding, while 33 per cent would replace boarding token with biometric recognition

I don’t want to lose my time

  • The maximum acceptable bag-drop time is three minutes (78 per cent)
  • The maximum acceptable queuing time at immigration is 10 minutes (74 per cent)

Top 3 areas where boarding experience can improve

  1. An efficient queuing process (67 per cent)
  2. Availability of automated boarding gates (38 per cent)
  3. Addressing issues around excess carry-on luggage (37 per cent)

Communication is more than an SMS

  • Preferred options for receiving notifications:
    • SMS (down to 42 per cent)
    • E-mail (up to 26 per cent)
    • Smartphone app (up to 28 per cent)

Top 3 services to improve travel disruption experience

  1. Real-time information shared with passengers (63 per cent)
  2. Flight re-booking (53 per cent)
  3. Hotel accommodation (42 per cent)

Technology is everything

  • Almost as many passengers want to watch digital content on their own devices (42 per cent) as on seatback devices (45 per cent)
  • On-board Wi-Fi preferences include:
    • Browse the internet (73 per cent)
    • Send / receive emails (62 per cent)
    • Instant messaging (62 per cent)