Inmarsat: airline passengers see inflight WiFi as necessity not luxury

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Research reveals 61 per cent rate high-quality WiFi as a bigger priority than in-flight entertainment

More than 60 per cent of airline passengers now see inflight WiFi as a necessity rather than a luxury.

This is according to the latest research from analyst GfK and British satellite manufacturer Inmarsat. The research consisted of surveying 9,000 airline passengers across 18 countries in February this year. A mix of those who had flown for business and leisure were interviewed.

More than 61 per cent of those surveyed rated high-quality WiFi as a bigger priority than inflight entertainment when choosing an airline. Similarly, 44 per cent of those surveyed said they would stop using their preferred airline in the next year if it did not offer internet connectivity.

Only ticket price (53 per cent) and flight slots (44 per cent) joined WiFi as a major consideration in the top three for passengers in the survey.

Inmarsat president of Aviation Leo Mondale said: “High-quality inflight WiFi is changing the way people think about flying and how they spend their time in the air.

“Whether using the time to work, to connect with friends and family, or to pass time shopping or viewing entertainment, the availability of inflight broadband has become a major factor when choosing an airline.”

“The annual Inflight Connectivity Survey has become a barometer for passenger sentiment. This year’s survey reveals that 60 per cent of passengers believe that inflight WiFi is a necessity and no longer a luxury.

“This will only increase as more people experience inflight connectivity. It is clear the opportunity that connectivity presents to airlines cannot be underestimated.”

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