IATA’s 2023 Global Passenger Survey has shown that travellers are increasingly embracing biometrics and off-airport processes to deliver speed and convenience.

"Passengers have made it clear: they want to spend less time booking and move through the airport faster. And they are increasingly willing to use biometric data to complete more pre-departure tasks off airport to achieve this,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice-president for operations, safety and security. 

Airport processes  

At the airport, speed is of the essence. Passengers expect streamlined processes and minimal wait times. They're keen on using biometrics to expedite procedures, prefer to complete more processes off-site, and arrive at the airport ready to fly.

Passengers expect to move through the airport faster than ever. 74% stated that when traveling with only a carry-on bag, they anticipate going from the kerb to the boarding gate in 30 minutes or less, an increase from 54% in 2022.

They also want to complete more processing elements off-airport. 45% of travellers identified immigration as their top pick for off-airport processing. This was up from 32% in 2022. Check-in was the second most popular pick, at 33%, followed by baggage check-in (19%). And 91% of passengers are interested in a special programme for trusted travellers (background checks) to expedite security screening. 

GPS found that passengers want more flexibility and more control in the baggage process. 67% would be interested in home pick-up and delivery, 77% said they would be likely to check in a bag if they could tag it and check it in before they get to the airport and 87% would be willing to check in a bag if they could track it. Interest in self-tracking is also growing: 57% of travellers have used or want to use electronic bag tags, up from 50% in 2022. 



Confidence in biometric identification is on the rise. In the last 12 months, 46% of passengers used biometrics at the airport, up from 34% in 2022. Furthermore, 75% of passengers prefer using biometric data over traditional passports and boarding passes. Of those who've used biometric identification during their travels, 46% reported an 85% satisfaction rate. While data protection remains a concern for half of respondents, 40% would be more open to biometric solutions if they were confident that their personal information is secure – an increase from 33% in 2022.

“Passengers want technology to work harder, so they spend less time ‘being processed’, standing in queues. And they are willing to use biometric data if it delivers this result. But we need cooperation across the value chain and with governments to make it happen with secure technology that is available today,” said Careen.

GPS results are based on over 8,000 responses from more than 200 countries. 

Image: London Heathrow Airport