Air travel of today: Expectations vs reality

Air travel of today: Expectations vs reality

Picture this scenario.

Your luggage is packed and every item on your to-do list has been ticked. Closing the door behind you, you get into the cab and begin to relax – you’re finally ready to become excited about your holiday.

All that stands between you and paradise is the airport and flight. But those shouldn’t be too bad, right? With an ever-greater focus on enhancing the passenger experience, you expect speed, convenience and comfort every step of the way.

But when you reach the airport you find that your optimism was gravely misplaced. At each step you encounter services far below your expectations. Let’s break it down:

Expectation 1:

Breezing through check-in because you know the airport has plenty of counters for baggage drop and for each travel class. Besides, you’ve confirmed your flight two days earlier.


There are long lines everywhere. The reason? Only one of the two baggage drop counters is open. It takes you nearly an hour just to check in your bag. And then you see three counters open for business class and merely one for economy class. You have no choice… you join another long line.

Expectation 2:

A short wait to go past security checkpoint. It’s just before Easter weekend and, not surprisingly, the airport is packed. So the airport would’ve arranged for extra officers to be on duty, right?


You witness three security officers walking away for their break, all at the same time. Another long wait. There will be no time for a snack before the flight but at least…

A man holding a cup rubbing his eyes in the airport.

Expectation 3:

You can look forward to a meal on the plane: Vegetarian and gluten-free, which is what you requested when you bought your air ticket two months ago.


When the cart arrives, the flight attendant says they don’t have any record of your special meal request. All they have left is spaghetti bolognaise.

Expectation 4:

A short wait after the plane lands. Of course you know that it takes time for everyone to gather their belongings from overhead compartments, but that shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes.


Everyone is held up for half an hour in the plane because there’s no available jet bridge.

Eventually, you arrive at your hotel, tired and irritated. And you can’t help but wonder: Why is there still a problem with efficiency in air travel despite all the technological advances in the aviation industry?

More often than not, air travelers have to suffer such inconveniences. Part of the reason is that aviation services are highly interconnected. Various service providers rely on one another to create an optimized value chain and if one part slows down, everything backs up.

Because of this, collaboration is key. Instead of each area planning separately, what is needed is a solution that can improve collaborative efforts and keep everyone on the same page. That way, errors in air travel procedures can be reduced – from check-ins to security screening, and boarding to baggage claim.

A reliable decision support system can help in delivering efficient and reliable service to air travelers. Find out more in our guide on optimized airport resource planning.