Gogo has published a case study looking at how Japan Airlines (JAL) is using its satellite-based inflight connectivity as a free service for passengers to boost customer satisfaction and stand out in the fierce domestic travel market.
Traditionally inflight connectivity is offered as:
- A totally free service
- A part-free service that is time, bandwidth or data download limited
- A paid-for service, either charged per flight, per hour or per megabyte
JAL’s Gogo-equipped aircraft (approx. 100) include Boeing 737-800, 767-300, 777-200, 777-300 and Embraer 170, 190 aircraft.
Gogo’s goal was to ensure that it could provide enough bandwidth to support the expected increase in internet usage to ensure all passengers have a good overall internet experience.
In addition, it had to quickly secure regulatory approval and make sure a free Wi-Fi offering was economically viable and fit into JAL’s strategic plan.
Today, free Wi-Fi and entertainment are permanent features aboard JAL’s domestic flights.
Gogo says with future high-throughput satellite launches, more capacity can be easily added ensuring an experience that travellers will enjoy for years to come.
In Japan, most domestic flights are under two hours, a duration where customers are typically less inclined to pay for connectivity.
However, with competitors and other public transportation offering Wi-Fi across their services, JAL realised that free inflight connectivity would be a major competitive advantage, combined with their SKY NEXT on-board product refresh.
To support the additional internet traffic, Gogo partnered with Japanese satellite operator JSAT to secure extra capacity over Japan.
Its open network architecture enabled additional Ku capacity to come online quickly and important local relationships helped secure regulatory approval within a tight timeline.
Gogo says it assisted JAL with origin and destination segmentation to target free Wi-Fi promotion on select routes. Additionally, its merchandising platform allowed JAL to provide free Wi-Fi to their most frequent flyers and other high-value customers.
JAL later wanted a solution that offered value for all passengers, not just a few, which led to the development of the 15-minute free Wi-Fi promotion.
Due to the success of this and the overwhelmingly positive response from passengers, Gogo says it worked with JAL to develop updated economics and a commercial agreement for an all-free offering.
Gogo says in addition to being a key differentiator for the brand, free Wi-Fi improves customer satisfaction, net promoter score, and likelihood to recommend.
It says research shows that offering 15-minutes free inflight connectivity improved passenger satisfaction by 10%, but offering totally free Wi-Fi improved it by 20%.