In-Flight Wi-Fi is Replacing Upgrades and Free Drinks

July 13, 2016 | Author: Carl Esposito

Recently, I was traveling to London for work and was excited to have some time between emails to watch my son’s latest adventures in backyard metal smelting. My son had uploaded his backyard video and just as I was watching him fire up the furnace, the video paused to buffer and never recovered due to a spotty Wi-Fi connection. You can imagine my disappointment and frustration. I had to wait to see his experiments until I landed, shuffled off the plane and had a chance to connect to the airport Wi-Fi before making my way to meetings scheduled for the day. I’m sure you’ve recently experienced spotty Wi-Fi on a flight. This situation is all too familiar and simply not what we expect in this day and age of connectivity.

Honeywell recently completed our third connectivity survey that asked passengers once again about their opinions and experiences with in-flight Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, it shows they’re even more miserable with current in-flight Wi-Fi offerings compared with findings from our previous surveys. Only 22 percent found their Wi-Fi service to be extremely reliable over the past 12 months, a dip from 27 percent in 2014.

Consistent, faster in-flight connectivity is a must. If an airline isn’t prioritizing this, passengers will switch airlines to find better Wi-Fi. They expect a similar experience to what they have at home or in the office. No exceptions.

The survey revealed three ways Wi-Fi is the new top shelf experience passengers are thirsty for when they fly. We’re calling all airlines to listen to travelers’ demands for better in-flight connections or risk losing passengers and revenue.

  1. Wi-Fi Is the Premium Service Travelers Demand.
    Time check. It’s 2016 and being connected is an expectation for travelers – anytime, anywhere. Forget the free drinks and platinum status perks; passengers want 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’ll do it: 21 percent have already abandoned their preferred airline for an option with better in-flight Wi-Fi (up from 17 percent in 2014).

    As I plan my trips, in-flight Wi-Fi is top of mind, and I’m not alone; 68 percent of travelers say in-flight Wi-Fi impacts how they book their flights. They are on the search for “the best” in-flight Wi-Fi possible, which means a powerful one-two combo of speed and reliability is needed.

  2. Wi-Fi Should Be Like Breathing. Simple, Reliable and Not Something Travelers Worry About.
    If the astronauts in the International Space Station can stream video and climbers at the Everest base camp can access social media, shouldn’t airline passengers be able to access the same service at 30,000 feet in the sky? Of course.

    Do you want to catch up on the latest edition of “Game of Thrones” or “Silicon Valley” while flying to New York for work? Me too.

    In fact, 83 percent of our survey respondents agree it’s essential to have a connection that’s fast enough to stream audio or video on sites like YouTube and Netflix. Even more find it essential to have a reliable connection throughout their entire flight anywhere in the world (90 percent).

    Most everyone travels with a personal electronic device today. I’ll be honest; at any point and time I usually have my laptop, tablet and mobile phone at the ready, and I expect reliable connectivity on these devices anywhere I go, including while flying. The majority of our survey respondents feel the same, with 60 percent saying they’d feel disappointed or frustrated if they got on a plane that didn’t have in-flight Wi-Fi.

  3. Millennials and Their Wi-Fi Be Like:
    EmojiNow, I’ll be the first to admit I fall a bit outside of the millennial generation, but you can’t argue with their $200 billion in annual buying power. U.S. millennials, born between 1982 and 1998, represent the most connected generation that took part in this survey, and that’s no surprise. They’ve grown up in a digital age where news, entertainment, commerce and social networks are at their fingertips.

    Airlines must listen to what these millennials want because they mean business. To earn the loyalty of one of the largest consumer segments, airlines need to offer the best global in-flight Wi-Fi service, now.

    Wi-Fi absolutely impacts the flights I book, but more millennials than older generations (73 percent versus 63 percent) say Wi-Fi availability impacts their booking choices. Even more millennials find it important to have fast speed to stream content (89 percent versus 77 percent), and have switched from their preferred airline to an airline with better in-flight Wi-Fi options (27 percent versus 15 percent).

So What? Airlines Need GX Aviation Like They Need Fuel in the Tank.
It's time to stop talking about the promise of the next generation of in-flight connectivity networks. GX Aviation is the next generation in-flight Wi-Fi service that’s available now. One service provider, one experience, no matter where you are. It’s the first high-speed wireless broadband service to span the world and is the only solution for airlines right now to provide a constant, high-speed connectivity signal that follows airplanes and passengers flying anywhere.

We believe pilots, passengers and airlines should all be able to enjoy the benefits of reliable, fast connections, anywhere. So the next time you find yourself with a poor Wi-Fi connection, don’t just accept it. You can visit wifithatflies.com to learn why GX Aviation is the best solution to meet in-flight Wi-Fi needs.

Carl Esposito

Carl Esposito

Vice President, Marketing & Product Management Honeywell Aerospace

Carl Esposito leads strategic planning, product marketing, product management (M&PM) and marketing communications for Honeywell Aerospace. Using industry modeling and forecasting, business strategy, customer listening, value proposition development, technology roadmaps, product life cycle plans, and marketing communications, Honeywell’s M&PM manages the broadest product portfolio in the industry.

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