Study Shows Airline Passengers Are Demanding In-Flight WiFi

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It used to be that all we wanted on flights was a bigger bag of peanuts, or maybe more leg room. But times have changed, and according to a new survey by Honeywell Aerospace, more and more airline passengers are demanding in-flight WiFi on domestic U.S. flights, and are even willing to pay more for it.

What the Survey Found

The survey included responses from 1,000 adults who have used WiFi on planes in the past 12 months. What the survey found is that airline passengers are now viewing WiFi as a necessity, and no longer as just an optional perk:

  • Nearly everyone (85%) would use in-flight WiFi if it was free, and 86% of U.S. passengers think WiFi should be offered on all flights, both domestic and international.
  • Two-thirds of passengers (66%) reported that whether or not the airline offers in-flight WiFi influences their flight selection.
  • More than a third of passengers (37%) would be disappointed if their next flight did not have WiFi.
  • 22% of passengers have paid more for a flight because it had WiFi and 17% admit that they would switch flights if another airline had better WiFi options.

It’s Not Just About Connectivity

But passengers also indicated that they are not happy with the current state of spotty in-flight WiFi systems, and want a faster and more consistent in-flight WiFi network:

  • 89% of U.S. travelers have had frustrating experiences with in-flight WiFi.
  • 52% of U.S. passengers are unhappy with the current state of spotty, slow in-flight WiFi.
  • Nearly 9 in 10 (89%) would give up other amenities like beverage service and even access to bathrooms for high-speed WiFi.

Let’s Not Forget Security

As more and more air travelers begin to see in-flight WiFi as a necessity, more and more airlines have begun to offer it on flights. This includes Air Canada, Air Tran, Alaska Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United, U.S. Airways, Virgin, and WestJet.

We think this is a good trend, but remember, an in-flight WiFi network is just like any other public WiFi: completely open and insecure. And the so-called friendly skies may not be so friendly if there’s a hacker on board your flight.

Only a VPN protects all of your sensitive information. A VPN, like PRIVATE WiFi, encrypts the data moving to and from your laptop and protects all of your Internet communication from being intercepted by others. Even at 35,000 feet above the ground.

Get Private Wifi   Protect your personal information.
Get DataCompress   Cut your mobile data usage.

Jared Howe

Jared Howe is PRIVATE WiFi’s Senior Manager, Product Marketing Communications. Working in high tech for over 15 years, Jared currently lives in Seattle with his wife, daughter, and their two cats.