The airport experience risks becoming severely chaotic if governments don’t act swiftly to adopt digital processes to manage travel health credentials, the International Air Transport Association warns.
Pre-COVID-19, passengers spent an average of about 1.5 hours in travel processes – including check-in, security, border control, customs and baggage claim – for each trip. According to IATA, current data indicates that airport processing times have ballooned to three hours during peak time with travel volumes at only about 30% of pre-COVID levels.
Processing times take longest at check-in and border control, where travel health credentials are being checked primarily as paper documents.
Without process improvements, the time spent in airport processes could reach 5.5 hours per trip at 75% pre-COVID traffic levels and a staggering eight hours per trip at 100% pre-COVID traffic levels.