Removing shoes and belts, unpacking electronic items from carry-on luggage, and confusion over different security screening standards in airports are the biggest bugbears of international travellers. In a survey of more than 10,000 airline passengers – the biggest “pain points” for most will be more than familiar to regular trippers.
Most irritating of all was having to remove personal items, which 60% of people found intrusive. Just over half of people said taking laptops and tablets out of their hand luggage was a nuisance while 47% said they found inconsistency in different airports on what was expected at security a major cause of confusion. It wasn’t all bad news however in the report by the International Air Transport Association and a majority of travellers said their last flight had been a satisfying experience.
Passengers in Latin America were most likely to have been content with 59% reporting they were satisfied compared to just 40% in Africa. Most travellers in both North America (56%) and in Europe (52%) also said they’d been happy with their last flight. The things that gave travellers most pleasure were online boarding and online check-in when excitement about their forthcoming trip was at its peak.
After that, passengers were happiest once they actually got on board and could get to enjoy some in-flight service. Electronic boarding has now become almost the standard with three-quarters of travellers saying they’d used an e-boarding pass on their smartphone during the previous twelve months. But passengers desperately want even more automation in their travel experience with most preferring self-boarding and a growing number choosing self-bag drop. That was particularly important when it came to queues for leaving bags with passengers saying three minutes was all they wished to wait to drop off their luggage.
At immigration, 74% said that an acceptable wait time was no longer than ten minutes.
When it comes to boarding, passengers had three things on their wish list: a more stream-lined queuing system, automated boarding gates … and a solution to the perennial problem of too many passengers, too much hand luggage, and not enough space for it.