This article has been kindly provided by our friends at A21.mx, a Spanish-language aviation portal from Mexico. 


In the 2018 edition of the global passenger survey conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), air travelers in the world expressed their desire to have real-time information on their personal electronic devices about their air travel experience.

The three priorities of the users after booking a flight are: the status of the flight (82%), their luggage (49%) and the waiting time in the security and customs control (46%), indicated the IATA.

For this reason, 73% of passengers prefer to receive information through SMS text messages or with an application for their smartphones. Since 2016, there has been a 10% increase in the number of passengers who prefer this mode of information.

Regarding the status of their suitcases, “56% of passengers want to be able to track their luggage in real time throughout the journey. To this end, many airlines and airports already provide this option at strategic points of travel, such as delivery and baggage collection,” said the agency.

The survey, in which ten thousand 408 passengers from 145 countries participated, also showed that 65% of passengers are willing to share their personal data if this streamlines security processes, and up to 45% is willing to replace their passports through a biometric identification system.

In this framework, the One ID project of IATA aims to enable passengers to complete the entire boarding process with a single biometric identity test such as fingerprint, face or iris of the eye. However, there is still a need for work to offer maximum guarantees in the protection of data.

“As we move more and more towards digital processes, passengers must have guarantees that their personal data is safe. IATA is working to establish a framework of trust that guarantees the secure exchange of data,” said Nick Careen, IATA senior vice president for Airports, Passengers, Cargo and Security.

Automated services

According to the survey figures, only 16% of passengers are willing to perform the check-in process in the traditional manner. The vast majority (84%) prefers automation, and of these, 47% would like to do it through their smartphone.

Similarly, 70% of passengers prefer to document their luggage with a self-service stand, which means that only one in three travelers prefers the direct attention of an agent.

74% of passengers favorably qualify for automated passport control procedures, and 65% believe that this innovation improves airport security.

But when there are setbacks, there is parity in terms of receiving help from another person: 40% of travelers prefer to resolve the situation by telephone, and 37% face to face.

Privacy and travel agencies

For those surveyed by IATA, the security, customs and shipping processes are the most uncomfortable aspects of the trip. So much so that 57% of people said that getting rid of personal items is the most frustrating thing during airports.

48% said they were annoyed at having to take computers and electronic devices out of hand luggage, while 41% were irritated by the lack of consistency in the selection procedures between the different airports.

As an alternative, travelers ask for: increased efficiency at the boarding gates (64%); more space for hand luggage (42%), and not having to queue on the airlift (33%).

About 43% of passengers still prefer to use a travel agency to book their flights.