IATA Survey: Air Travelers Support Masks, But Not Indefinitely

Air travelers around the world overwhelmingly are supportive of onboard mask requirements, but most also find adhering to various Covid-19 rules and restrictions is confusing, according to an International Air Transport Association survey of 4,700 travelers.

In the survey, conducted May 14-22 across 11 countries, 83 percent of passengers surveyed said they supported wearing masks onboard, and 86 percent said they supported strict enforcement of those rules. A similar percentage said they felt safe onboard aircraft and that airlines and airline employees had done a good job in implementing safety measures.

A majority indicated, however, that the requirements should end when conditions allow.

“Air travelers recognize and value the safety measures put in place to minimize the risk of Covid-19 transmission during air travel,” IATA director general Willie Walsh said in a statement. “And, they support the continuation of these measures as long as necessary, but they also don’t want the measures to become permanent.”

Nearly 90 percent of passengers surveyed said they wanted to see standardized processes around the world for certifying vaccinations and testing. About two-thirds said arranging testing related to travel was a “hassle,” and 70 percent said it was challenging to understand the rules and paperwork around the travel requirements, according to IATA.

About 90 percent also said they would be willing to use mobile apps to store travel health data, but most also said they would use it only if they had complete control of their data.

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