Pent-up demand for travel

The pent-up demand for travel reveals that 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 as per reasearch released by Collinson’s Priority Pass.


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.

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.

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