June 14 2018  |  Connectivity & Satellites

Inflight Wi-Fi no longer a luxury: Gogo

By Rachel Debling

Inflight internet access is becoming a necessity that many passengers expect – and for a multitude of reasons, according to Gogo's latest Global Traveler Study, based on data from 9,000 travelers in 18 countries.

For a majority of passengers, not having onboard internet access can lead to feelings of worry. Three-quarters of the travelers surveyed say they feel less anxious when they have access to inflight Wi-Fi because they can stay in contact with family and friends. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed also said that staying connected in the air lessens anxiety associated with not being able to stay connected for work and career purposes.

"Today, we see a shift as inflight internet moves from being a luxury to an expectation for travelers around the world," said Alyssa Hayes, Director of Insights at Gogo, in a release from the company discussing the report. "The importance of internet in the booking process has been increasing as now one-third of passengers are looking for inflight internet when they book their flights. The desire for people to stay connected and in contact with the ground is prevalent; passengers look to not just browse the internet but also engage with social media, read the news and check their email."

The report dives into several other areas of the inflight entertainment and connectivity experience:

  • 90 percent of passengers bring a mobile device with them while traveling by air, and 62 percent use their mobile device while in the air
  • 59 percent of passengers bring a laptop with them; 34 percent use them in flight
  • 48 percent bring a tablet with them in flight, but only 35 percent use their tablet during air travel
  • The reasons for wanting inflight internet access mirror the reasons people want access in their everyday lives: 75 percent want it for browsing, 63 percent for social media, 44 percent to stream media in flight, and 60 percent cited checking their email and reading the news as reasons they would want onboard Wi-Fi
  • Nearly half of those surveyed prefer seatback screens to their own devices
  • Conversely, a third of air travelers would rather use their own tech

To read the full report, visit Gogo's website.

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