The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) annual Global Passenger Survey has revealed growing confidence in biometric identification. The results are based on over 8,000 responses from more than 200 countries.
In the last 12 months, 46% of passengers used biometrics at the airport, up from 34% in 2022. Furthermore, IATA’s survey says 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.
The days of widespread passenger mistrust are a distant memory, fueled in part by a better travel experience and the use of biometrics in other consumer markets and technology, however, some concerns remain. Indeed, data protection remains a concern for half of the travelers surveyed, and 40% said they would be more open to biometric solutions if they were confident that their personal information is secure – an increase from 33% in 2022.
Nick Careen, senior vice president for operations, safety and security at IATA, commented, “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.”
IATA’s One ID initiative uses biometrics so passengers don’t need to stand in queues on departure or on arrival. The latest advancement, IATA’s newly developed ‘Digitalization of Admissibility’ standards, provides a mechanism to enable passengers to digitally obtain all necessary pre-travel authorizations directly from governments before their trip. With their ‘OK to Fly’ status shared with the airline, travelers can bypass all on-airport document verifications and enjoy an expedited travel process.
“We have the standards and technology to radically improve the international travel experience,” continued Careen. “But we can only move at the pace that governments allow within their regulations. That’s why a top priority in realizing seamless One ID-enabled travel is working with governments to demonstrate that border control can be more secure even while making passenger travel more convenient.”
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