Airlines are starting to understand just how much fliers want in-flight Wi-Fi

Sep 03, 2012 12:54 am

Skift Take

This example from a poll in the UK demonstrated how much fliers on international journeys want to stay connected while in-flight, but the poll’s result would have been similar anywhere else consumers have come to rely on staying connected.

— Jason Clampet

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For many travellers, aeroplane journeys are one of the last bastions of peace and quiet. But all that may be set to change.

Airlines are under pressure to allow passengers to use the internet several thousand feet in the air, amid concerns that their current email blackouts are damaging the British economy.

Half of UK adults said they would like internet access on aeroplanes, compared to 13pc opposed to the idea, a YouGov poll found. Younger passengers were even more supportive, with 75pc of 18-24 year olds supporting access.

Some US airlines allow passengers to use the internet on board, but most UK airlines ban it for insurance reasons, despite research suggesting that it is safe to use the web in transit.

The practice is costing the British economy around £640m a year, researchers have claimed.

Iain Regan, global head of sales and marketing at Firstsource Solutions, which commissioned the research, said British business travellers wanted to “stay connected to colleagues or customers” and that tourists wanted to be able to download games and music.

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