[Avionics Today July 23, 2014] According to a new survey from Honeywell Aerospace, 66 percent of airline passengers' flight selections are influenced by in-flight Wi-Fi availability.
The survey is Honeywell's second annual look at passenger's buying and wireless usage behavior, featuring responses from 1,000 Americans that have used in-flight connectivity over the last 12 months. Among the results, the strongest passenger preference centers on free access to in-flight Wi-Fi. Eighty-five percent of the respondents said they would use Wi-Fi on most or all flights if it was free.
Survey results also showed a preference for in-flight connection speeds that match what passengers are used to on the ground. Current in-flight connection speeds on average range from 10 to 14 Mbps, compared to on the ground connections that average 20 to 50 Mbps, or higher based on service provider. Nearly 50 percent of respondents said they should endure airport security twice in order to have a speedier in-flight connection and 29 percent said they would swap their ticket to "fly standby on a plane with Wi-Fi that's as fast as it is at home," Honeywell said.
“The commercial aviation industry has to pay attention to meet the demands of passengers, giving them the freedom to stay connected whenever and wherever they want," said Jack Jacobs, vice president of marketing and product management at Honeywell. "Honeywell’s survey affirms that consumers are accustomed to easy access to Wi-Fi, and they expect it to be fast and consistent like at home or work. Those expectations are expanding up into the sky.”