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What travelers want: Less hassle, more tech


A new survey of air passengers reveals that we want to get through the airport faster, with less hassle, and with more information. No surprise!

The 2017 Global Passenger Survey by IATA, the International Air Transport Association, representing airlines. turned these up as the top five wants:

  • 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

The second, fourth and fifth items on the list all relate to one idea: a digital passport or other method that would whisk us through all the processes and places we have to go to get on board. 82% favored some form of smartphone-based digital passport, while 64% were willing to go with a biometric method.

We also, the survey says, want hands-off bag drop and self-boarding to speed the process without standing in lines. And, we want the airlines to do a better job of keeping us up-to-date on flight and gate changes and other updates.

Having to unpack and repack electronics and other items at security is a big bug for more than half, and 47% are just frustrated by how different security screening can be at different airports, leaving travelers unsure what to leave on or take off.

On a lighter side: 42% say they prefer to stream the airline's entertainment on their own devices, a trend that's increasing as inflight connectivity increases, and airlines would love to dump expensive (and heavy) seatback screens.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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