As the pandemic continues to drag on, and as more and more rules and regulations are stopped, started and changed by the day, travelers would be forgiven for having a sense of unease when it comes to getting on a flight once more. However, a recent survey has shown that this might not actually be the case.
A recent survey by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed a number of key trends and opinions held by passengers – some of which may come as a surprise. Here’s a look at the results of that survey, and what they might mean for the future of travel during the global pandemic.
Airline Changes – A Recap For Travelers
The travel industry has changed immeasurably throughout the pandemic. Travel as a process has changed from start to end; the first port of call travelers look for is whether or not a country is accepting travelers, whilst they also need to be aware of any requirements that need to be fulfilled upon their return home, such as periods of isolation or testing upon arrival.
The process of flying itself has changed dramatically. Face masks must be worn both in the airport and on the flight, and the service travelers expect to receive on board may have changed too. Following a rise in unruly passengers, several American airlines halted the sale of alcohol on board, whilst other airlines also removed the middle sets of their rows in order to be able to allow passengers to remain socially distanced even with the cabin of the aircraft.
IATA Travel Results – What Travelers Should Know
The survey released by the IATA asked travelers a series of questions about the state of air travel during the pandemic, taking in the opinions of travelers who had traveled since June 2020. A total of 4,700 travelers were surveyed, taken from 11 different travel markets from around the world. Whilst one may expect the mood around travel to be somber, the results were generally positive and showed confidence towards traveling during the pandemic.
The efforts that airlines are putting into cleaning their aircraft is clearly paying off. Of the 4,700 people surveyed, 85% of them believe that the aircraft were thoroughly cleaned and disinfected – with a further 65% of travelers agreeing that the air in the cabin of an aircraft was as clean as an operating room. On top of that, 86% of travelers said that they felt safe on board, with 89% feeling that the protective measures on board were well implemented, and 90% of those surveyed believed airline personnel were doing a good job of enforcing the measures. This confidence is reflected in the fact that the number of people traveling continues to rise.
However, travelers were not quite as confident when it came to Covid-related rules and requirements. The survey revealed that:
- 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
Speaking about the results, the Director General of the IATA Willie Walsh 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.”
With 83% of passengers agreeing with mandatory mask-wearing and so many appreciative of the airline’s protective measures, it seems like these changes could be around for a while. However, with rules and regulations still serving a such a barrier to travel, we might just see governments start to change their tact on these matters should passenger numbers around the world fail to rebound in the manner they expect.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories