However, a majority are also frustrated with the ‘hassle factor’ around Covid-19 protocols, including confusion and uncertainty about travel rules, testing requirements, and excessive test costs. The survey of 4,700 travellers in 11 markets around the world shows that 85 per cent believe aircraft are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected; and 65 per cent agree the air on an aircraft is as clean as an operating room.
Among those who have travelled since June 2020, 86 per cent felt safe onboard owing to Covid-19 measures, with 89 per cent believing protective measures are well implemented and 90 per cent believing airline personnel do a good job of enforcing the measures
Passengers strongly support mask wearing onboard (83 per cent) and strict enforcement of mask rules (86 per cent), but a majority also believe the mask requirement should be ended as soon as possible.
Travelers recognise the value in safety measures
“Air travellers recognise and value the safety measures put in place to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission during air travel,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. “And they support the continuation of these measures as long as necessary, but they also don’t want the measures to become permanent. In the meantime, we all need to respect the rules and the safety of fellow passengers. It is unacceptable that unruly passenger incidents have doubled compared to 2019, and the increase in physically abusive behaviour is a particular cause for great concern.”
At the same time, participants admit that they struggle with the Covid-related rules and requirements and that this impacts their willingness to travel:
- 70 per cent thought the rules and the accompanying paperwork were a challenge to understand
- 67 per cent saw arranging testing as a hassle
- 89 per cent agreed governments must standardise vaccinations/testing certifications
Almost nine out of ten respondents like the idea of using a mobile app to store their travel health credentials and 87 per cent support a secure digital system to manage health credentials. However, 75 per cent say they will only use an app if they have full control of their vaccine/test data.
“IATA Travel Pass enables travellers to receive, store and share their health information with governments and airlines but they 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 chaos at airports as travel begins to return,” said Walsh.