Air travellers frustrated by security checks: IATA study

Geneva: Air travellers are most frustrated by the queuing time for security checks, removing shoes and belts, apart from electronic items and liquids from their carry-on bags, a latest IATA study has said.

Interestingly, a significant majority of 75 per cent would rather go through a full body scanner than have a full pat down by a security officer, said the survey by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

It further added that a similar number 73 per cent of air travellers, respondents were willing to share personal background information with governments in order to speed up security screening.

The 2012 survey, released by IATA here last evening, contains responses from nearly 3,000 travelers from 114 countries who had travelled by air in the past 12 months. More than half the respondents had booked their flights themselves, mostly through an airline website.

Keeping these and other important findings in mind, the IATA has come up with several recommendations for airlines, airports and governments to follow to make air travel smoother and hassle-free, said Kenneth Dunlap, IATA's Director (Security & Facilitation).

Among the respondents of the survey, 77 per cent were comfortable to use biometric identification for more convenient airport transit and 71 per cent would prefer to use a self-boarding device at the gate, such as a mobile phone.

An even greater majority (86 per cent) were prepared to provide the airline their passport details in advance to allow a smoother journey. While only a quarter of the respondents have ever used an automated immigration border gate on arrival at an airport using their ePassport or ID card, as high as 91 per cent said they would be interested in such a service to allow a faster arrival process.

Among the IATA recommendations, IATA is developing a 'Known Traveller Programme', which is to be implemented by 2017, asking governments to develop capabilities for data-driven risk assessment through identity authentication and verification, Dunlap said, emphatically adding that he was completely against racial profiling or intrusion in privacy.