Survey shows travellers accept Covid safety measures but don’t want them forever

PHOTO: Flickr/Terry White

A survey by the International Air Transport Association shows that most passengers understand the need for Covid-19 prevention measures but don’t want them to become permanent. The IATA survey was conducted on 4,700 global travellers across 11 markets and the findings show that, while people are confident in the safety of air travel and are in favour of wearing face masks, most expressed confusion about the rules, including the cost and uncertainty over testing requirements.

TTR Weekly has published a breakdown of the findings as follows:

  • 85% believe aircraft are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected
  • 65% agree that the air in the cabin is as clean as an operating room
  • For those who have travelled since June 2020, 86% felt safe onboard due to Covid-19 measures
  • 89% believe protective measures are well implemented
  • 90% believe airline personnel do a good job of enforcing the measures
  • 83% are strongly in favour of mandatory face masks on board
  • 86% strongly support the rules on face masks being enforced but believe the rule should be ended as soon as possible

Speaking about the results, IATA chief Willie Walsh says while passengers recognise the need for the measures, they don’t want them to become a permanent fixture of air travel.

“Air travellers recognise and value the safety measures put in place to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission during air travel. 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.”

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The survey also found that a majority of people confessed to finding the rules confusing, which has had an impact on their decision 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 standardise vaccinations/testing certifications

In addition, 9 out of 10 survey respondents would be happy to have their vaccination details stored on a mobile app, with 87% in favour of a secure digital system. However, 75% say they’d only use the app if they had full control of their data.

Walsh says the IATA Travel Pass will help passengers store and share their health status as needed, while still retaining control of their information.

“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.”

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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