IATA Global Passenger Survey. Three Big Takeaways.

By Hélène Dubos | Technology

Nov 21
IATA Global Passenger Survey. Three Big Takeaways.

SMS text messaging is the clear favorite with airline passengers for urgent notifications. It’s one of the valuable insights from the IATA Global Passenger Survey.

The IATA Global Passenger Survey gives a wealth of insights into passenger behavior and attitudes. Based on feedback from 7,000 regular fliers, the survey helps airlines to refine their ideas for improving customer service, satisfaction and, ultimately, profitability.

The specialist Tnooz news portal recently wrote an article titled: ‘Huge majority of passengers willing to trade personal data for better airline experience’ (link below). Tnooz focused on the finding that 8 out of 10 airline passengers would be happy to share more personal data with airlines and airports … providing it resulted in more a personalized service for them.

That’s good news for airlines, because as we mentioned in our blog post ‘Airline Personalization Marketing. The Next Big Thing For Low Cost Carriers?’, personalization offers a lot of potential revenue opportunities for budget and national airlines.

But personalization and data sharing weren’t the only insights from IATA’s Global Passenger survey. We’ve spotted three other trends that will be of interest to airline (and airport) marketers:

1. DIY baggage handling preferences for airline passengers.

– A third of passengers are happy to tag their own luggage.
– 39% of passengers surveyed like the idea of electronic tags.
– 61% of passengers said they would use bag tracking tools, if provided.

Consumers just don’t like waiting in line any more. So when airports and airlines work together to streamline the check-in and baggage-handling process, customer satisfaction will go up. For many airlines and airports, check-in is the last big bottleneck. As so many other processes have been improved by apps, suddenly the process of waiting in line to hand your bags to an attendant seems archaic.

2. How airline passengers like to keep informed.

– In-flight wifi usage. 30% use for email, 23% use for messaging.
– Pre/post-flight notifications. 53% prefer SMS, 22% app alerts, 21% email.

Maybe there’s an opportunity for airlines to vary their method of communication depending on whether the passenger is in-flight, or at the airport? SMS is by far the preferred medium when people have mobile coverage, because SMS is baked into the phone’s functionality and takes no effort. But when wifi-enabled airlines know passengers are in-flight, it would be impressive if passengers received an email giving a flight and destination update.

3. Notification priorities for airline passengers.

– 85% of IATA respondents want flight status updates.
– 60% of interviewees are interested in baggage status updates.
– 58% would like to receive security/customs waiting time updates.

Because those three most requested notifications are typically enabled pre/post flight, SMS will be the most popular channel for sending these passenger updates. This means that airlines need to have the necessary data management and SMS gateway platforms in place to meet the demand.

Conztanz provides event-triggered airline passenger notifications.


As part of our portfolio of consulting services and software tools for airlines, Conztanz offers a way for airlines to streamline their email and SMS communications with passengers. Our blog post ‘Conztanz Launch Event-Triggered Airline Marketing with its Smart Data Platform’ includes some example use cases and screenshots.

If you’d like to know more about how your current IT assets could be leveraged to provide a next-generation messaging service for passengers, please get in touch.

Research link IATA Global Passenger Survey highlights.

Huge majority of passengers willing to trade personal data for better airline experience.