Over three quarters (78%) of passengers would more likely rebook with an airline if high-quality inflight Wi-Fi is offered, according to the fourth annual global Inflight Connectivity Survey published by Inmarsat in association with market research company Populus.
It should be noted that Inmarsat is a provider of global mobile satellite communications services; the findings thus might be self-serving.
Nevertheless, the study shows that almost three quarters (72%) of Asia-Pacific passengers who had access to inflight Wi-Fi in the past year chose to use it – the highest uptake of any region globally. Almost nine in 10 (86%) passengers in Asia-Pacific would use inflight Wi-Fi if it were available on their next flight.
With two thirds (67%) of Asia-Pacific passengers describing inflight Wi-Fi as crucial, meeting the demand for Wi-Fi in the skies is key to improving passenger experience and driving loyalty in the region, the report argued.
In fact, inflight Wi-Fi is considered the second most important factor for passengers in Asia-Pacific when choosing an airline, behind only airline reputation, said the report.
Onboard Wi-Fi could also lead to more productive business trips, as almost nine in 10 business travellers (88%) in the region would use inflight Wi-Fi to continue working on the plane. Access to Wi-Fi is also an important driver of choice for nervous flyers, as two thirds (64%) said that they would use the technology to remain in contact with family and friends on the ground.
An earlier Inmarsat survey published in 2016 showed that the majority of airline passengers would sacrifice other inflight amenities for Internet access, with 54% saying they would choose Wi-Fi over an inflight meal.
Notably, today’s passengers are adding alcohol to the list of inflight amenities they would sacrifice to get online, with more than half of passengers in Asia-Pacific (51%) suggesting they are even prepared to give up their inflight alcoholic drink in exchange for access to Wi-Fi.
More than 9,300 passengers from 32 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and North and Latin America were surveyed.