A research team at the Open University wants the travel industry’s help with research into the impact of Apis (Advance Passenger Information System) requests.

Apis has imposed multi-million pound costs on the industry. Now the research team of Dr Kirstie Ball is examining the impact on customer relations at tour operators, travel agents and airlines. Her team have gathered extensive case-study research and need industry insiders to complete an online questionnaire on customer management.

The survey is aimed at heads of marketing and those involved in regulatory affairs. All who complete it will go into a prize draw for a £500 study voucher at the Open University.

Ball said: “There is a chain of threat. The government threatens to criminalise the airlines if the data is not provided in time. The airline tells the tour operator, the tour operator the travel agent, and it destabilises customer interaction.”

Customers can be indignant at the request for personal data or anxious they will not be allowed to travel if they can’t enter the details, she said. Some balk at providing personal details to a company. Others give the details once, but are indignant at further requests.

The costs are huge. Airlines have warned the requirements will cost the aviation sector alone £242 million over a decade.

Charter carriers face added costs if passengers don’t provide information in advance as they must pay for each swipe of a passport at an airport where they don’t handle their own operations.

Ball, a former employee of MyTravel, said industry members had already helped with the case studies. “We’ve had so much help from the travel industry,” she said. “Everyone has been lovely.”

The research will form part of a wider study into the use of customer data due to be published late this year.