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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Only 5% Interested In In-Air Internet

The latest research revealed that less that 5 per cent of the passengers are looking forward to the Internet availability becoming common in-flight. Although a lot of airlines have already realized there is really a pot of gold available for getting Internet connectivity in-air, it seems that the overwhelming part of passengers are not interested about chatting with friends online a mile in the sky.

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It seems that only five percent of the surveyed UK frequent flyers expressed the will to go online. Actually, 1/3 of the respondents admitted they would avoid entering the plane with Wi-Fi or other Internet connections.

As always, the main objection is a loud chatting on mobile phones during the flight – people are concerned about losing one of the last havens from being permanently reachable. Others respondents believe that something has to be said about safety, or lack of it, for using electronic devices during the flight. They could be understood, since air-hostesses have spent the last decade barking orders at passengers to turn off all of their devices during take-off and landing.

It came as no surprise that the price became another factor. As much as 85% of people participating in the poll claimed they wouldn’t be happy to pay even $8 on Internet access, while less than 1% would consider anything close to $15. If you remember the sky-high prices for a drink, it’s easy to imagine money-grabbing airlines that would charge extortionate amounts for providing access to the web in the air.

Nevertheless, the result of the survey was quite surprising – the industry didn’t expect that so many people wouldn’t like to have access to web services at all. Finally, it seems that despite the results of this survey, most airlines believe that online connectivity could become a good earner. Therefore, the companies have been investing in the relevant technology. Still, not all of the countries are that keen. The research revealed that the Germans have the same aversion to the Internet in the air, while Spanish travelers appeared to be much more receptive – almost 80% of them want to have this kind of access on their flights.

In the United States, in-flight Wi-Fi has been quite popular, so the beliefs are that the European airlines will follow its example.

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