Posted on: 28 January 2015 by Ross McSweeny
As the result of an enhancement to its in-flight Wi-Fi data, Routehappy – a product differentiation platform for air travel – has been able to analyse the global state of Wi-Fi, branding 2014 as ‘the year in-flight Wi-Fi took off worldwide.’
The company has now introduced the ability to identify flights based on both the chance of them including in-flight Wi-Fi (‘some’, ‘good’, or ‘very good’, based on fleet-wide rollouts) and the Wi-Fi type (‘good’, ‘better’, or ‘best’, based on underlying technology offered) alongside its scores and happiness factors for a range of in-flight amenities.
Routehappy CEO Robert Albert said that their research into in-flight Wi-Fi capabilities among airlines worldwide is the most extensive study that has been conducted.
Its newest report reveals that the US is steaming ahead in terms of in-flight connectivity. Although 52 airlines worldwide offer in-flight Wi-Fi in most regions of the globe, U.S. airlines offer ‘some’ chance of Wi-Fi on 66% of their flights across their entire network, whilst non-U.S. airlines offer ‘some’ chance of Wi-Fi on just 15% (and even then that’s only on international flights). This averages out to fliers having ‘some’ chance of Wi-Fi on 24% of flights worldwide.
But it’s only in the last 18 months that US airlines have started seeing a dramatic improvement. Take United Airlines (United), for example. Back in July 2013, United offered ‘some’ chance of in-flight Wi-Fi on 518 U.S. domestic flights. Today that figure has nearly trebled to 1445, which is a 179% increase. Now, United also has the most international planes with in-flight Wi-Fi and offers what Routehappy categorises as ‘best’ Wi-Fi (the most technical systems available, capable of streaming video).
Routehappy claims the ‘best’ – or highest bandwidth system – is currently available on nearly 1% of U.S. flights, with JetBlue being the only other airline live with ‘best’ available Wi-Fi. However, it predicts the number of flights offering improved Wi-Fi services will continue to increase with the rapid adoption of faster, satellite-based technology. For example, airlines are now upgrading from Gogo ATG to Gogo ATG-4 on hundreds of aircraft. As reported byInflight-Online.com, you can read about Gogo’s 2015 aircraft installation plans here.
Icelandair and Norwegian are leading the charge across the rest of the globe, offering a ‘very good’ chance of in-flight connectivity on over 80% of their international flight miles.
“Wi-Fi is one of the most sought after, new amenities flyers want to access on their flights, and there has been significant investment by airlines since our last report,” Albert explains. “Coverage is starting to be meaningful on flights worldwide, along with a wide variety of speeds, coverage availability, and pricing models, including free of charge. The industry needs a trustworthy source of truth for in-flight Wi-Fi offerings. Routehappy has decided to make it a focus area, and is pleased to have greatly enhanced our Wi-Fi data in our Scores & Happiness Factors API to benefit users of our customer sites.”
You can see the full infographic detailing Routehappy’s latest Wi-Fi insights here.