Survey confirms persuasive influence of in-flight Wi-Fi

More than two thirds of passengers would be more likely to rebook with an airline if high-quality in-flight Wi-Fi were available, according to Inmarsat’s fourth annual Inflight Connectivity Survey.

This likelihood to rebook rises to 81% of passengers travelling with children, and 83% of business travellers

Globally, passengers ranked in-flight Wi-Fi as the fourth most important factor that they consider when choosing an airline, behind airline reputation, free checked baggage and extra leg room.

Compiled in association with market research company Populus more than 9,000 airline passengers across 32 countries, were surveyed.

In-flight Wi-Fi is now more just a hygiene factor – it has a huge influence on the creation and retention of passenger loyalty and satisfaction.

With more than half of passengers (55%) describing inflight Wi-Fi as crucial, meeting the demand for Wi-Fi in the skies is key to improving passenger experience and driving loyalty. But quality is key. For more than half of passengers (54%), no Wi-Fi at all is better than a poor quality service.

As demand for in-flight Wi-Fi rises, uptake is similarly high as two thirds (65%) of passengers that had access to the service in the past year chose to use it. High-value customers, parents and young passengers are among those most likely to use in-flight Wi-Fi services: nine in ten business travellers (90%), parents travelling with children (90%) and 18-30 year olds (91%) plan to use the service if it’s offered when they next fly.

However, the demand for quality on-board Wi-Fi is significantly outstripping supply on the fleets of airlines across the globe, as less than half of passengers globally (45%) travelled on flights where it was offered.

Philip Balaam, president of Inmarsat Aviation, said, “Wi-Fi is essential to daily life on the ground, and airline passengers see no reason why their time on a flight should be restricted or spent any differently. Whether it’s used for sending that important work email, entertaining the children or even connecting with fellow passengers, staying online is becoming a crucial part of the in-flight experience for today’s airline passengers.”

Written by: Alexander Preston

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