Consistent, fast connections on flights influence passengers’ airline choice

  • 13-Jul-16

PHOENIX, July 12, 2016 – A survey of airline passengers by Honeywell reveals more than increased frustration with current in-flight Wi-Fi offerings compared with the company’s 2014 study. Nearly three of four passengers are ready to switch airlines today to have access to a faster and more reliable Wi-Fi connection. In addition, out of more than 1,000 American travellers polled, annoyance is growing, with just 22% reporting their in-flight Wi-Fi to be extremely reliable over the past 12 months, a dip from 27% in 2014.

Travellers have made it clear they expect consistent, faster in-flight connections, and this survey reveals three key reasons why airlines must act quickly to deliver this service or risk losing business.

Traveller Loyalty Lies With Wi-Fi

When travelling, passengers expect a reliable connection to stay in touch with their friends and family, get work done, or be entertained. If that means selecting another airline over their preferred choice, they will do it. More than 1 in 5 (21 percent) have already abandoned their preferred airline for an option with better in-flight Wi-Fi (up from 17 percent in 2014). In-flight service is clearly top of mind for passengers and impacts the way more than two-thirds (68 percent) of travelers book their flights.

Consistent Connections Are Critical Everywhere

With the rise in personal electronic devices, consumers expect reliable connectivity anywhere, including while in flight. Six in 10 (60%) travellers surveyed say they would most likely feel disappointed or frustrated if they got on a plane that did not have in-flight Wi-Fi. Even more, 84% of travellers, say it is important to have an experience identical to what they have at home or in the office. Most travellers find it essential to experience a reliable connection throughout their entire flight anywhere in the world (90%), and one that is fast enough to stream audio or video from sites such as YouTube and Netflix (83%).

Millennials Value Wi-Fi More Than Most

U.S. millennials — those born between 1982 and 1998 — represent the most connected generation that took part in this survey, and are the first full generation to grow up in the digital age with news, entertainment, commerce and social networks at their fingertips. If airlines want to earn the business and loyalty of one of the largest consumer segments, they must offer the best global in-flight Wi-Fi service. More millennials than older generations (73% versus 63%) say Wi-Fi availability impacts the flights they book. Because they value a connected experience more than older generations, more millennials find it important to have fast speed to stream content (89% versus 77%), and more than one in four have switched from their preferred airline to an airline with better in-flight Wi-Fi options (27% versus 15%).

“Passengers are serious about getting the best in-flight Wi-Fi experience possible. To avoid losing passengers and revenue, airlines need a connectivity service that is reliable all the time, no matter where they fly,” said Carl Esposito, vice president, Marketing and Product Management, Honeywell Aerospace. “Travelers do not need to wait any longer for this experience; it is available now. Honeywell has worked with Inmarsat to offer the world’s first global, fast service — GX Aviation — to give passengers reliable in-flight Wi-Fi, anywhere they fly.”Wi-Fi Keeps Travelers Connected Everywhere

GX Aviation, the first high-speed wireless broadband service to span the world, is the only solution for airlines available right now to provide a constant, high-speed connectivity signal that follows airplanes and passengers flying anywhere in the world. Whether travellers are over land or water, they will have a similar Wi-Fi experience as they would have on the ground. GX Aviation is powered by Honeywell’s JetWave onboard hardware and Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka-band satellite network. 

Imagine a global cell phone signal from a single provider that follows users wherever they go rather than requiring the users to choose different carriers and different experiences. GX Aviation makes this a reality for in-flight Wi-Fi and is unlike anything else available today. One service provider, one experience, no matter where you are.

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