New Survey Shows Airlines Passengers Prefer Wi-Fi to Meals

By Woodrow Bellamy III | May 27, 2016
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[Avionics Magazine 05-27-2016] A survey conducted by Inmarsat and GfK to provide insight on airline passenger travel preferences revealed that passengers now not only expect broadband services to be offered as standard during flights, but more than half would prefer in-flight connectivity to in-flight meals.

Between August 2015 and March 2016, Inmarsat and market research company Gfk conducted the survey on 9,000 airline passengers in Europe, Asia and Central and South America who had taken a short, medium or long haul flight in the last year. A key requirement for the survey was that the passengers had carried at least one personal electronic device onboard the aircraft. 
Inmarsat Global In-Flight Survey Infographic.
Inmarsat Global In-Flight Survey Infographic.
The survey found that 92 percent of the respondents want access to onboard connectivity and 54 percent of them prefer Wi-Fi to in-flight meals. Here are some of the other survey highlights:

Survey Highlights

  • 83 percent of passengers prefer to choose an airline that offers in-flight broadband;
  • 78 percent of passengers expect to see onboard connectivity replace in-flight entertainment systems within the next five to 10 years;
  • 34 percent of passengers bring three mobile devices onboard a flight and are willing to pay to connect their phone, tablet or laptop computer to in-flight broadband;
In terms of willingness to pay for broadband services on a flight of any length:
  • In Europe, 69 percent of passengers are prepared to pay;
  • In Asia Pacific, 67 percent of passengers are prepared to pay; and
  • In Latin America, 64 percent of passengers are prepared to pay.

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