Connection in the airplane

BBC Global News conducted a study revealing air passengers’ desires to remain connected while in flight.

The research reveals a global appetite for connectivity while flying and found that frequent flyers have a substantial interest in staying connected while on a flight and that they are prepared to pay more for it.

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The research, commissioned by BBC Global News and conducted by independent research consultancy MTM, revealed that almost two thirds (63 percent) of regular travelers consider access to Wi-Fi important when booking a flight. Sixty-nine percent say it would significantly improve their inflight experience.

One of the main reasons travelers want to stay connected is to communicate, to be entertained and to keep up to date with what’s happening around the world.

There are a number of benefits to airlines offering connected flights. The research showed that passengers were more likely to consider an airline because of a better inflight experience. Connected flights also boost a carrier’s reputation, who are more likely to consider it innovative, modern and exciting.

Other entertainment options were also advantageous. Sixty-two percent of respondents said that they would be more likely to choose an airline if live television was available. That number climbed to 78 percent for business-class travelers and 89 percent for first-class passengers.

Passengers even indicated that they would pay more for connectivity. More than half indicated that they would pay 5 percent on top of the standard fare. One-third would even pay as much as 20 percent more.

“As bandwidth to aircraft increases, there are growing opportunities for airlines to offer passengers an enhanced inflight experience,” said Zina Neophytou, vice president of Out of Home at BBC Global News. “Our research demonstrates a resounding consumer demand for connectivity and access to live news programming while in the air. As airlines’ capacity grows, we look forward to our continued delivery of BBC World News’s unique blend of innovative, impartial journalism.”