Face Facts

Travelers are growing to like digital identification and what it can do to speed them on their journeys
As 2021 came to a close and a post-pandemic travel boom began to materialize for real, the International Air Transport Association announced the results of its 2021 Global Passenger Survey. And even though the aviation industry had stumbled on COVID lockdowns and travel restrictions, by the end of the year, it was clear to airlines, airports and travelers alike that commercial aviation would be in  for a massive surge in passenger traffic in 2022.

Indeed, as far back as the middle of 2021, IATA had been warning that without significant technological systems in place to speed the processing of passengers, modeling was already suggesting that the time spent in airport processes could reach 5.5 hours per trip at 75 percent pre-COVID-19 traffic levels (which we are nearing), and eight hours per trip at 100 percent pre-COVID-19 traffic levels.

Travelers are already feeling the pinch as passenger numbers rise, so the outcome of the IATA survey is not surprising. The research found passengers want solutions – more specifically, biometric identification – that speeds the process. And they don’t want to stand in line to wait for the process to get done.

Just under three-quarters of the passengers surveyed (73 percent) said they are willing to share their biometric data to improve airport processes. That’s an increase from 2019, when less than half (46 percent) expressed a willingness to adopt biometrics. An even higher majority (88 percent) said they would share immigration information prior to departure if it meant expedited processing.

Categories: Special ReportTechnology

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