Inflight internet is ‘must have amenity’
Global air travellers prefer airlines that offer in-flight internet connectivity and even adjust their travel plans and choice of airline to be on internet-connected flights, according to a survey released by Connexion by Boeing, a business unit of The Boeing Company.
The Connexion by Boeing service, launched commercially in May 2004, is currently offered on more than 180 routes daily worldwide and is the only in-flight, high-speed internet, data and entertainment service available today.
Connexion by Boeing teamed with Burke Research to conduct a global biannual study on customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Says Laurette Koellner, president of Connexion by Boeing. “The findings confirm that we’re on target to provide passengers with the best in-flight connectivity experience possible, and to provide airlines with new ways to differentiate their brand and retain and attract new customers.”
The most recent study, which focuses on the second half of 2005 and includes responses from nearly 3,200 participants worldwide, shows that in-flight internet is changing traveller behaviour:
• 83 per cent surveyed said that the availability of the service will have impact future travel plans and choice of airline carrier;
• 94 per cent planned to use the service again on a future flight;
• 92 per cent said they would recommend the service to others;
• 84 per cent said the service is of good or fair value relative to the price paid;
• 78 per cent said that the speed met or exceeded expectations;
• When asked to name the key benefits of service, respondents called out the ability to be productive (44 per cent), stay in touch (25 per cent) and access e-mail (22 per cent);
• 93 per cent were satisfied with the Connexion service overall.
The survey also quizzed respondents on the kinds of activities done while connected with the Connexion by Boeing service. Ninety per cent of respondents said they accessed their work e-mail, most of whom using a virtual private (corporate) network; 76 per cent accessed personal e-mail; 69 per cent browsed the internet; 41 per cent engaged friends and family via instant messaging or live chat.
One recent example of a new way to use in-flight internet was the first transcontinental flight where mobile video gamers held real-time, competitive matches in the air over the Connexion by Boeing network.
“Connexion by Boeing delivers a valuable choice to airline passengers,” says Koellner. “Travellers who have used the service appreciate the flexibility it provides for staying connected to what matters most or being entertained, even at 35,000 feet.”
Prices start at $9.95.