Passengers trust in safety on board and support the use of masks
This is revealed by a report published today by the International Air Transport Association
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that, according to its latest passenger survey conducted in May, the majority of air travelers are confident in the safety of air travel and support wearing masks in the short term. However, most are also frustrated with the "hassle factor" around COVID-19 protocols, including confusion and uncertainty about travel rules, testing requirements, and excessive testing costs.
The survey of 4,700 travelers in 11 markets around the world shows that:
- 85% believe aircraft are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected
- 65% agree that the air in an airplane is as clean as an operating room.
Among those who have traveled since June 2020, 86% felt safe on board due to COVID-19 measures:
- 89% believe that protection measures are well implemented.
- 90% believe that airline personnel do a good job of enforcing the measures.
Passengers strongly support the use of masks on board (83%) and the strict application of mask rules (86%), but most also believe that the requirement for masks should be terminated as soon as possible.
“Air travelers recognize and value the security measures in place to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission during air travel. And they support the continuation of these measures for as long as necessary, but they also do not want the measures to be permanent. In the meantime, we must all respect the rules and the safety of other passengers. It is unacceptable that unruly passenger incidents have doubled compared to 2019, and the increase in physically abusive behavior is a particular cause of great concern, ”said Willie Walsh, IATA Director General.
At the same time, participants admit that they struggle with the rules and requirements related to COVID and that this affects their willingness to travel:
- 70% thought the rules and accompanying paperwork were challenging to understand
- 67% found organizing testing a hassle
- 89% agreed that governments should standardize vaccine / test certifications
“These responses should be a wake-up call to governments that need to do a better job preparing for a restart. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed plan to resume the journey within months of containing the pandemic (and opening the borders). And by six months, nearly 85% expect to travel again. To avoid overwhelming airports and border control authorities, governments must agree to replace paper-based processes with digital solutions such as the IATA Travel Pass for documentation of tests and vaccines, ”said Walsh.
Nearly nine in ten respondents like the idea of using a mobile app to store their travel health credentials, and 87% support a secure digital system for managing health credentials. However, 75% say they will only use an app if they are in full control of their vaccine / test data. “IATA Travel Pass allows travelers to receive, store and share their medical information with governments and airlines, but always keep control of the information on their own mobile device. Now is the time for governments to facilitate digital solutions like IATA Travel Pass to avoid airport chaos as travel begins to return, ”said Walsh.