Report says future travellers will demand inflight connectivity

Passenger using a laptop and inflight connectivity on board an aircraft
A passenger using a laptop in flight. Image: Emirates.

Inflight connectivity anywhere and everywhere isn’t the hope, it’s the expectation for future travellers, according to a new report by Gogo.

The “The Travellers of Tomorrow” study says for a new generation, the internet and entertainment are synonymous. There’s simply no distinction between enjoying movies at home, sending emails from a local café or binge watching their favourite TV shows at 35,000 feet.

The report adds that this couch-to-cabin lifestyle will have a profound influence on commercial air travel. For airlines, the decisions made today must encompass the diverse needs of these younger passengers for the next 20 years.

It says 96% of future travellers will own a smartphone, with 89% of them bringing it onto an aircraft.

As Wi-Fi becomes faster and more available on the ground, travellers expect to be connected with a similar experience in the air.

The report says 63% think more flights should offer Wi-Fi, with 48% thinking Wi-Fi in the air should be as fast as it is on the ground.

While 90% of future travellers have a preferred airline, almost half say inflight connectivity is a deciding factor when booking a flight. Forty eight percent say they would choose another airline if Wi-Fi was not available on their preferred flight compared with only 32% of current travellers.

They also want to control inflight content and to access devices just like they do at home, on the bus or at the café, and 92% say they are interested in using their own device in flight for Wi-Fi or entertainment.

Nearly half (47%) say they would pay for gate-to-gate Wi-Fi inflight connectivity.

“The Travellers of Tomorrow” was compiled from data found in the Gogo Global Traveller Research Series, a global study that examines travellers’ inflight habits, behaviours and preferences.

This study explores the rapidly-evolving technology landscape, key global trends and changing passenger dynamics that face today’s airlines. It covers 15 countries across six regions around the world and includes data collected from more than 4,500 respondents who flew within the past year.

Data was collected by Lieberman Research Worldwide, a market research consultancy that conducts research in more than 80 countries.

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