We live in a world where people value connectivity. Especially when traveling, being connected to family, friends and co-workers is important to people for a number of reasons: to make and confirm travel and visit arrangements, to talk about work, for safety, and for a personal touch. Airlines are learning that passengers value both onboard connectivity as well as the opportunity to choose their own inflight entrainment. New inflight entertainment or ife systems make it all much easier, with a single screen that can accommodate many of these choices as well as important flight information.
The importance of inflight connectivity
The number of people who fly everyday, for work, personal business, or on vacation grows every single day. On an average day, eight million people will be on board an airplane for one reason or another. In 2013, the total number of airplane passengers in a single year exceeded 3 billion for the first time ever, coming in at 3.1 billion. That’s over three billion people who are accustomed to being connected to their friends, loved ones, families, and work round the clock.
Airlines are beginning to realize the importance of onboard WiFi in attracting passengers. In fact, TripAdvisor’s 2013 Air Travel Survey found that one traveler out of four would choose an airline based on the availability of onboard WiFi. The same survey shows that over a third, or 37% of all passengers, felt that a mobile device was an an essential carry-on item. That number represents a steep increase from the 5% who wanted to carry on their iPhones or tablets in 2012.
How passengers use WiFi onboard
Why do passengers want onboard WiFi? Mostly because they want to stay connected to their world as well as their destination. They use mobile devices to get news, flight information, connect to friends and colleagues, and to get some work done. They may use their mobile devices to set up rides, dinner appointments, or just chat with their loved ones. New ife systems can help them with these and more.
Something as simple and basic as chargers for mobile devices at every seat can make all the difference to the inflight experience for passengers. That translates to customer loyalty for the airline, which is important for increasing revenues. These charging stations are smart enough to switch off power automatically when there are no devices plugged in to the connected USB port, making them more economical from the airline’s point of view as well.
Multitasking aircraft display monitors
IFE monitors can multitask, making them equally useful for passengers and airlines. They carry important flight information and airplane displays such as location maps that show exactly where the plane is at a given time. Passengers too prefer inflight entertainment systems where they have greater choice. In fact, less than a fifth, or only about 17% of airline passengers prefer to sleep in the air.
The rest choose to work, watch movies, read, or catch up on the news, which is why onboard WiFi and better IFE systems are so important for a better travel experience.
As the billions of airplane passengers who travel each year come to expect onboard connectivity, providing WiFi and better IFE systems is a good decision for airlines. It helps to ensure smoother journeys, as well as customer loyalty. In a highly competitive world, that’s an all-round winner.
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