Honeywell survey says 75% would opt for free inflight Wi-Fi

Honeywell Ka-band antenna for Inmarsat's GX Aviation service.
Honeywell’s fuselage-mounted Ka-band antenna for Inmarsat’s GX Aviation service.

A survey conducted by Honeywell in the United Arab Emirates reveals 75 percent of passengers would give up extras such as pre-bookable seats or free in-flight meals in order to stay connected using free in-flight Wi-Fi.

This was just one surprising result from the survey that highlights the importance of technology in making air travel easier for passengers at every stage of flight, from check-in to baggage claim.

With passenger numbers in the Middle East region expected to rise threefold by 2020 according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the survey reveals ways in which the latest airport and aircraft innovations are being used by passengers to beat congestion, minimize stress, save time and stay connected.

Norm Gilsdorf, president of Middle East, Russia and Central Asia, Honeywell, said: “With more people traveling through the region every year, this survey shows airports and airlines can increase customer satisfaction even further by investing in technology to minimize disruptions and stress, and create a smarter travel experience for passengers.”

Once on the aircraft, passengers continue to look for ways to improve their flight experience.

Although Wi-Fi is still an emerging technology across large parts of the aviation industry, passengers are increasingly considering it an essential travel tool.

Three-quarters of those polled (75 percent) said they would substitute at least one in-flight extra such as pre-bookable seats or free in-flight meals for fast, reliable and free Wi-Fi on board.

Interest in such a service suggests people want a smarter and seamless way to travel, without the inconvenience of losing their connection with friends, family or work.

Thanks to an agreement between Honeywell and Inmarsat, passengers will soon be able to browse on their smartphones, tablet devices and laptops when in the air over both land and sea, at the same speed and quality as they would expect at home.

Honeywell is exclusively providing the airplane hardware for Inmarsat’s GX Aviation global high-speed, in-flight connectivity service, which is scheduled to come online in late 2015 and is capable of delivering up to 50Mbps broadband to the aircraft.

Find out more about Inmarsat GX Aviation.

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