A large majority of travelers strongly support mask wearing on planes (83%) and strict enforcement of mask rules (86%), but a majority also believe the mask requirement should be ended as soon as possible, according to a survey of 4,700 travelers in 11 markets around the world by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Respondents also said they struggle with the COVID 19-related rules and requirements and that this impacts their willingness to travel:
  • 70% thought the rules and the accompanying paperwork were a challenge to understand.
  • 67% saw arranging testing as a hassle.
  • 89% agreed governments must standardize vaccinations/testing certifications.
Willie Walsh, director general, said air travelers recognize and value the safety measures put in place, but they also don’t want the measures to become permanent. He said these responses should be a “wake-up call” to governments that they need to do a better job of preparing for a restart. Almost two-thirds of respondents plan to resume travel within a few months of the pandemic being contained (and borders opened). And by the six-month mark, almost 85% expect to be back to travel. To avoid overwhelming airports and border control authorities, said Walsh, governments need to agree to replace paper-based processes with digital solutions like the IATA Travel Pass for vaccine and testing documentation.