Zamna survey finds traveller support for paid-for airline documentation checks

Zamna survey finds traveller support for paid-for airline documentation checks

The blockchain travel tech firm claims the sector is missing out on £500 million of ancillary revenue in the UK alone by failing to adopt digital solutions to address anxieties faced by travellers

Airlines could repair some of the damage done to their finances by COVID by digitising documentation checking to give customer peace of mind when travelling.

Blockchain travel technology firm Zamna surveyed 2,000 UK travellers in April and May in partnership with independent researchers at Research Without Barriers.

It found that three out of four would be willing to pay on average £5.32 per person for a pre-flight digital documentation check. A third would pay up to £10.

The study found travellers believe that airliners should be doing more to verify documentation to ensure no nasty surprises when customers arrive at airports. 

And it found concerns about having the correct documentation, including Visas, destination entry forms and vaccination status certificates, topped the list of travellers’ anxieties.

This rated higher than staff shortages, reports of airport chaos in the media, and fears that the airline could go bust.

Based on Iata data, Zamna estimated revenue from a digital documentation check could raise £510 million in ancillary revenue in the UK alone.

The study found 64% of passengers are desperate for airlines to do more to help them navigate the complexities of travel.

And 81% of consumers are thinking twice about flying abroad in 2022 which combined with airport flight caps is hampering the travel industry’s recovery from the pandemic. 

Irra Ariella Khi, chief executive of Zamna, said: “With the industry struggling to sustain losses of £9.54 billion now is the perfect time to highlight as much as half a billion pounds in potential revenue to airlines - and that’s just in the UK alone.  

“Aside from the financial gains, a huge portion of the pain felt by airlines and travellers alike can also be eased with simple, available tech improvements that digitise document handling in advance. 

“However, much of the new tech being introduced by airlines and airline groups is just not working; the need for more equipment and behavioural changes generated by the solutions causes pain for all, whether that’s downloading a new app, having to print a document or present a QR code. 

“The passport is the only globally recognised identity document and we have been travelling on it for decades; it should be, and is, the only thing one needs to travel with total confidence if the tech is right.”

Zamna says any improvements must also be ubiquitous to all travel-related tech platforms like GDSs, PSSs, and CRMs rather than be proprietary. 

Khi said: “It’s so important that new technology solutions in this field are industry-wide, affect all airlines positively, and are inclusive of passengers - avoiding costly and limiting vendor locks, and instead serving a global price-sensitive, Covid-exhausted audience. 

“It must also allow airlines to be prepared for whatever is thrown at them with evolving markets, ever-updating regulations, and changing customer requirements.”

As well as travel documentation checks, Zamna claims automated technology must be adopted to address operational issues caused by staff shortages while adhering to data rules.

“Slow and labour intensive check-in processes can be accelerated or completely by-passed by removing many of the manual checking procedures required at the airport itself,” the firm said.

“This means that long and slow-moving queues of UK travellers and the increased need for airline staff that we have all seen of late, would be a thing of the past with the adoption of the available solutions.

Khi added: “We’re entering a new era of travel and airlines need to get on board. Tech that supports the bottom line, while assuring passengers and reducing pressure on airline staff is the key to airlines securing recovery.”