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Paid or free, people want to be able to chose whether to connect. But we're surprised that 42% of passengers surveyed in the U.S. wanted mobile voice. Considering boisterous objections by U.S. travellers to calls onboard, we would have expected this number to be much lower.

Air travelers around the world are even more eager to find Wi-Fi onboard than their U.S. counterparts, according to a Gogo study.

Participants in Gogo’s global traveler research study represented sixteen countries and four regions around the world. All had flown on a round-trip flight in the past year. The study finds that, while U.S. passengers express a preference for Wi-Fi connectivity and are more likely than their international counterparts to find that service onboard, international air travelers are generally more tech-dependent and eager to find Wi-Fi onboard and more open to paying for the convenience.

As Gogo’s study found:

  • 83% of air travelers in regions outside the U.S. said they were interested in using Wi-Fi vs. 74% of U.S. air travelers.
  • 71% percent of air travelers outside the U.S. show a strong interest in wireless in-flight entertainmnet vs. 59% in the U.S.

Part of this demand stems from a highly connected lifestyle on the ground, Gogo’s study would suggest. Travelers around the world are significantly more likely to carry Wi-Fi enabled electronic devices when travelling.

The most connected travellers around the world are in the region of Mexico and Latin America where 92% of travellers carry a Wi-Fi enabled device onboard and 77% expressed a preference to connect to Wi-Fi on their device in-flight.

Ranked second in the world for demand of these services, 86% of passengers in Europe and the Middle East carry Wi-Fi enabled devices and 73% want to find Wi-Fi services on their aircraft to connect using their device.

A close third is Asia, Australia & Pacific region where 85% of passengers carry devices and 65% want to use Wi-Fi inflight on their device.

Air Travellers in the US, where one will find the most connected aircraft around the world today, actually rank last for use of personal electronic devices with only 76% carrying electronic devices and 65% expressing a preferrence to connect their devices onboard.

One in three passengers, Gogo use at least two electronic devices when flying.

“The number of global passengers topped 3 billion in 2013 and has grown by 37 percent in the last four years. Ubiquitous connectivity has become the norm around the globe and there are very few passengers these days boarding an aircraft without a Wi-Fi-enabled device,” said Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo’s chief commercial officer. “What’s surprising to us is that the demand and willingness to pay for these services is clearly higher outside the U.S. We have found that air travelers outside of the U.S. index higher on affluence relative to the general population in their markets.”

This affluence-factor is an important consideration for airlines pondering whether to add onboard Wi-Fi services. Gogo also found that passengers around the world are 23% more likely to pay for in-flight Wi-Fi than air travellers in the U.S.

While Wi-Fi connectivity interests passengers most, it is not the only Wi-Fi service they’d like to see more of and international passengers also expressed a strong preference for various other Wi-Fi services inflight.

  • 71% of air travellers in other world regions would like to find in-flight wireless entertainment, compared to 59% of U.S. passengers.
  • 70% would like to find LiveTV onboard, compared to 61% of U.S. passengers.
  • 65% would like to find Mobile Voice services compared 42% in the U.S..
  • 72% of passengers in other world regions would like to use connectivity to send text messages, compared to 59% of U.S. Travellers.

As an incentive to its potential airline customers, Gogo found that Wi-Fi influences the booking decisions of 20% of passengers in all markets around the world, up from 16% in a Gogo study conducted last year.

The Full Gogo Infographic is embedded below.





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Tags: aix, gogo, in-flight, in-flight entertainment, inflight Wi-Fi

Photo credit: Gogo's new Ku-band antenna revealed at the Aircraft Interiors Expo last year/Gogo Gogo

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