Social distancing, in-flight cleanliness top concerns in pandemic-era air travel

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Tech-approved cabin cleanliness, in-flight social distancing and personal protection equipment (PPE) emerge as top concerns and priorities among air passengers in the wake of the pandemic, according to a recent survey.

Conducted by Honeywell Aerospace, the survey taken by more than 700 passengers across North America and Asia, showed that a majority of travelers (72 percent) were more concerned with the environment on an airplane than in an airport (28 percent).

Respondents are frequent flyers for either business or pleasure, with the majority (75 percent) aged 25-44.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents cited social distancing as their top priority during travel, while about half of respondents cited air quality (51 percent) and PPE such as masks (47 percent) as top priorities. Passengers’ most-desired safety items during travel were masks, hand sanitizer, and alcohol wipes.

Cleanliness validation via technology was by far (60 percent) the most important way to bolster passenger confidence in cleanliness around their seating area, according to the survey. Other considerations included providing cleaning supplies directly to the passenger (23 percent), followed by being informed and updated by the cabin crew (12 percent).

Frequent flyers demand more personal protective equipment, technology to improve cabin cleanliness: Honeywell; an airline worker conducting deep cleaning of aircraft’s interior cabin as part of preventive measures pictured

“This survey demonstrates that passengers want high-tech solutions to best validate the entire travel experience as it relates to health and safety,” said Kevin Suits, vice president, user experience, Honeywell Aerospace.

From an airport perspective, survey respondents were most concerned with the cleanliness of common areas, followed by the ability to social distance and fellow travelers’ use of protective equipment.

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