New Study by Collinson’s Priority Pass Reveals Frequent Flyers Plan to Fly Six Times in the Next Year.    

New Study by Collinson’s Priority Pass Reveals Frequent Flyers Plan to Fly Six Times in the Next Year.    

Is the Travel Industry Ready?

  • Travellers who were frequent flyers before COVID-19 expect to take almost six flights in the next 12 months, underlining their desire to travel as soon as possible
  • 78% attribute being vaccinated against COVID-19 as key to their confidence in the safety of air travel and 74% want a vaccine passport
  • Quarantine continues to be a major deterrent for international travel with 72% citing it as a reason not to travel
  • 48% are more likely to use airport lounge access than they did before the pandemic

New research released by Collinson’s Priority Pass has revealed that pre-pandemic frequent flyers are ready to get back on a plane, claiming they expect to fly nearly six times in the next 12 months. Compared with pre-COVID averages of almost 10 flights per year, this represents a 61% recovery compared with 2019 travel.

The global survey analyses the opinions of over 46,000 members of the company’s Priority Pass™ programme, and reveals that leisure travel will make up more than half of trips (55%) taken in the next year. While business travel will recover more slowly, there is demand from frequent flyers for it to return, with the expectation that business travel will account for 45% of flights taken in the next year globally.استطلاع جديد لبريوريتي باس التابعة لشركة “كولينسون”

Confident and excited – the world’s travellers are ready for a reboot

Over a year has passed since the advent of COVID-19, and people’s lives and travel plans continue to be impacted by the pandemic. In recent months, however, the ongoing global vaccination roll-out has brought a glimmer of hope to those anxious for travel to return.

When questioned on the possibility of travelling by air in the next 12 months, 78% of members expressed feelings of excitement and 61% felt confident; findings which will likely be reassuring to the travel industry.

Looking ahead, international travel will accelerate faster year-on-year versus domestic travel. However, domestic travel (at 64%) is still set to make a greater recovery than international travel (at 59%), when compared with 2019 travel levels.

Travel experience expectations for the immediate future have changed dramatically

Understandably, the desire to keep health risks to a minimum has resulted in key changes to the way people experience airport travel, with the aim of keeping external contact to a minimum:

  • 22% are more likely to fly short haul
  • 24% are more likely to use unmanned facilities, such as biometric passport kiosks
  • 48% are more likely to use airport lounge access than they did before the pandemic
  • 20% are more likely to pre-order and collect their food and drinks before departure
  • 49% indicated that social distancing and contactless transactions at the airport are of a relatively high importance when travelling.

Vaccinations are creating an environment of hope

The reasons behind growing travel confidence include widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines, with 78% of travellers worldwide admitting to feeling more confident in the safety of air travel as more people are vaccinated, while 40% say they will travel within one month of getting the vaccine. While vaccines have yet to be fully rolled out globally, their availability continues to generate hope, as do the discussions around digital health certificates; with 74% of respondents saying they would be happy to use one.

Meanwhile, 76% of members say they would feel confident to travel internationally if getting vaccinated became a mandatory measure. This sentiment is echoed by a further 64% of travellers who agree that COVID-19 testing and the use of digital health certificates would encourage them to travel abroad.

Quarantines seen as ineffective, unnecessary, and a barrier to recovery

The survey also shows that while quarantine regulations continue to be enforced around the world, only 29% of travellers feel it is an essential safety measure; while a further 72% see it as a major deterrent for international travel. When reasons behind this largely negative sentiment towards quarantine are explored in depth, 70% blame the additional costs involved and the unpredictable nature of quarantine rules, while 61% are reluctant to spend so much time indoors; a finding which is likely linked to an increasing emphasis on mental wellbeing when travelling.

David Evans, Joint CEO of Collinson, said: “Our research shows the confidence that frequent travellers have in the coming year which is hugely encouraging; however, that alone won’t get the world travelling safely again. It’s now up to governments around the world to agree and align on an effective programme to restart frequent international travel, using digital health certificates, alongside pre-departure and on-arrival testing to diminish or remove quarantine time, while keeping travellers safe.”

With appetites for travel evident, and government alignment hopeful, industry needs to be ready.

Andy Besant, Managing Director of Travel Experiences at Collinson, said: “It’s clear those travellers who were frequent flyers before COVID-19 are ready and waiting to get on a plane as long as the right measures, such as social distancing and contactless transactions, are in place. But the travel experience will change, with traveller demand for greater automation and socially-distanced spaces such as lounges, in order to balance the upheaval of the past year. As such, all the players in the travel ecosystem need to be fully prepared to manage the surge, which is likely to occur, with the goal of delivering a return journey that is as seamless and as enjoyable as possible. Communication and collaboration between all players in the travel industry, and in turn with travellers, will be essential.”

About the Data

An online survey of 46,830 Priority Pass members was conducted from 15th March 2021 to 17th March 2021. Fifty-two percent are leisure travellers and 24% are business travellers – while some respondents answered from both a leisure-traveller and business-traveller perspective. The research was carried out in markets in Africa, APAC, Europe, Middle East, North America, Central America, South America and The Caribbean.

About Priority Pass

Priority Pass is the original and market-leading airport experiences programme operated by Collinson. It provides discerning frequent travellers access to over 1300 lounges and airport experiences in over 650 airports across 148 countries, including a growing number of airport dining and spa offerings worldwide that can be accessed in the same way as lounges. Using the Priority Pass app for iOS and Android, members can quickly and easily discover locations welcoming Priority Pass, instantly check their visit entitlements and use their Digital Membership Card to access airport lounges and experiences.

About Collinson

Collinson is a global leader in the provision of traveller experiences including airport lounge access and medical and security assistance and travel medical services. Collinson’s traveller experiences include the world’s leading airport lounge and experiences programme, Priority Pass, as well as travel insurance, identity assistance, flight delay, international health and travel risk management solutions.

Collinson has over 2,000 employees operating out of 20 locations globally, all working to deliver a broad range of traveller experiences that ensure the safety, welfare and comfort of 55 million people as they travel for business and leisure around the world. Its travel medical and security assistance business unit has more than 55 years’ experience in the delivery of international medical assistance and emergency care, including the handling of pandemics such as Ebola, Zika and the coronavirus. Last year alone, Collinson responded to over 95,000 emergency calls, managed over 40,000 medical cases and conducted over 3,000 aero-medical evacuations across the 170 countries it serves. We work with clients including American Express, Cathay Pacific, CBA, Mastercard, Radisson Hotel Group, UnionPay and Visa.