Air travellers reveal their biggest COVID-related ‘air fears’

Font Size:

Research released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed what worries travellers most about travel during the pandemic and what they’d need to feel safe while flying during or after the coronavirus crisis.

The top three fears travellers have when on the ground are being in a crowded bus/train on the way to the aircraft (59 per cent), queuing at check-in/security or boarding (42 per cent) and using airport restrooms (38 per cent).

While on board planes, travellers most fear sitting next to someone who might be infected (65 per cent), followed by using restrooms (42 per cent) and breathing the air on a plane (37 per cent).

Two in five (37 per cent) said extra COVID-19 screening at departure airports would make them feel safer when flying, while one in three (34 per cent) said they would like to see mandatory wearing of face masks and 33 per cent would like social distancing measures enforced on aircraft.

When asked what they’d be willing to do to stay safe while flying, 43 per cent of travellers said they would undergo temperature checks, 42 per cent said they’d wear a mask while travelling, and 40 per cent would check in online to minimise interactions at the airport.

Almost four in 10 said they would take a COVID-19 test prior to travelling and 38 per cent would make sure to sanitise their seating area.

“People are clearly concerned about COVID-19 when travelling. But they are also reassured by the practical measures being introduced by governments and the industry under the take-off guidance developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). These include mask wearing, the introduction of contactless technology in travel processes and screening measures,” said IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.

“This tells us that we are on the right track to restoring confidence in travel. But it will take time. To have maximum effect, it is critical that governments deploy these measures globally.”

Other highlights of the study include:

  • 45 per cent said they would return to travel within a few months of the pandemic subsiding
  • most travellers plan to travel to see family and friends (57 per cent), holiday (56 per cent) or do business (55 per cent) as soon as possible
  • 66 per cent said that they would travel less for leisure and business in the post-pandemic world
  • 64 per cent would postpone travel until economic factors improved
  • 57 per cent of travellers think air quality on planes is dangerous, although 55 per cent understood that it was as clean as the air in a hospital operating theatre
  • 85 per cent of travellers are concerned about being quarantined while travelling
  • 17 per cent said that they would be willing to undergo quarantine.

“Quarantine is a demand killer. Keeping borders closed prolongs the pain by causing economic hardship well beyond airlines,” said Mr de Juniac.

“If governments want to restart their tourism sectors, alternative risk-based measures are needed. Many are built into the ICAO take-off guidelines, like health screening before departure to discourage symptomatic people from travelling. Airlines are helping this effort with flexible rebooking policies.”

Read more at Travel Talk

What concerns you most about flying during or after the pandemic

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


First-time travellers’ biggest fears

These are the biggest fears felt by first-time travellers.

Top four post-COVID travel trends

What we can expect on the other side of COVID-19.

Travel expert suggests new hygiene and safety protocols

A leading travel expert maps a survival plan for the industry.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 4
  1. 0

    Flying is off the radar for us for a very long time.

  2. 0

    My main concern is that we will need a Certificate Of Vaccination ID before we can fly. This may mean for me no more flying, as I’m not prepared to take the risk of a vaccination. I don’t believe this covid 19 virus is anyhthing else than a flu virus so I’m more scared of the vaccinations and their health and well being impact.

    • 0

      If Bill Gates and Dr Fauci get there way that is what might happen, you may even need a chip implant. Vaccines only need 50% effectiveness to pass and they already have in place that if there are side effects big pharma will not be held responsible.

  3. 0

    I think if you are worried, best to not fly. They would need a very fast result of a covid test just before you board otherwise it would not work. I would be more worried about the air you breath and the radiation levels when flying.



continue reading


Succulent Spice-Roasted Salmon

These little salmon bites are something I've made time and time again over the years and this method of roasting...


How to take great pictures of gardens

If you've never been too good at taking pictures of your beautiful blooms, now's the time to brush up on...

Aged Care

Paid on par with cleaners: the broader issue affecting aged care

Paid on par with cleaners: the broader issue affecting the quality of aged care Ben Farr-Wharton, Edith Cowan University; Matthew...


Researchers fear diet produces ‘untoward effects on the heart’

The keto diet, lauded for its purported fat-burning capabilities, could be bad for your heart, according to new research. The...


Vaccine overdose cases raise questions over doctor training

Australia's vaccine rollout suffered a major hiccup, with health minister Greg Hunt revealing on Wednesday that two elderly residents at...

Retirement Income

Why middle-income Australians are the big losers in retirement

Australia's middle-income earners are losing out when it comes to retirement income. That's the view of Mercer's senior partner, David...


Nine food and heart health myths busted

Should you cook with butter or olive oil? Is that drink of red wine protecting your heart? Pink Himalayan salt is healthy, right? There...


What to do if your diesel car runs out of fuel

Surely, we've all had those niggling thoughts when driving about - whether what we are doing is shortening the lifespan...