90% of U.S. Flyers Rarely or Never Buy In-Flight Wi-Fi

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by uggboy, Jun 6, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    90% of U.S. Flyers Rarely or Never Buy In-Flight Wi-Fi

     
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  2. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    Ive never purchased in flight WIFI. The seats are way too crampted to work on my company laptop. I usually pass the time watching movies or reading books on my iPad.
     
  3. uggboy
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    Seems to me that the crammed conditions on planes are one of the biggest factors when NOT purchasing WIFI right now. I presume this would be different when space and reasonable cost would be made available by the airlines, or some sort of package price incl. WIFI, but then space is still the issue which needs to be solved it seems. Interesting topic, WIFI and connectivity are more and more important and it's only a question of time that "downtime" on planes is impossible in the future especially when on business trips.
     
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  4. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    Very interesting... And I agree with your comments. Flying is already an uncomforatable experience. I try to escape into a book or movie. Really wouldnt want to work while im miserable. lol
     
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  5. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    I'm one of the 90% and for me, it's a two-fold matter of principle.

    If I'm flying for work, the time stuck in an aluminum tube is my own just as it is driving in my car to my office and I absolutely refuse to give an airline anything other than the money I paid for my ticket
     
  6. uggboy
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    Well spoken.
     
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  7. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    Thank you :) and to add, even if inflight wifi was free, I would not be checking in with work-personal e-mail, facebook and other assorted personal websites yes, but not work as again, that time is my own
     
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  8. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    The only time I used it was the month Google had it complimentary ! They were promoting Chrome ! I flew LGA-ATL-CUN. It is useless flying to the islands from NYC, or flying on DL's international TATL routes, even if available.
     
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  9. uggboy
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    That's something I can agree too, even when WIFI would be offered for free it's still important to use the time as "me time". Thanks. Very interesting comments, great you've shared them with us here on MP. :)
     
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  10. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    I've never used internet access on planes so far, maybe when it would be free, that's another matter, but I would use it wisely and privately, maybe on a tablet, but less likely on a laptop, in this case it's all about space and convenience and as you pointed out, the WIFI has to work at good speeds first to be meaningful.
     
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  11. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    I do not know how wifi behaves with VPN. If horrendously, then all one can do is surf the forums that you want to catchup on with low security risk :)
     
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  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    A decent amount of the wifi usage is entertainment, not work, from what I've seen on board. And given that published take rates per flight remain well below 10% (gogo just cracked 6%, I think) the results of this survey are not at all surprising.
     
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  13. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    With the uptake relatively low right now it's difficult to see them that often on board, I presume. It's equally interesting while WIFI counts as very important especially when offered free in hotels, it seems to me that such sentiments aren't generally shared on planes. It's the same with voice traffic, there's the sentiment even more against this. I presume however when the market matures the uptake on WIFI services on planes will grow too in the longer term future.
     
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  14. Wandering Aramean
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    In the USA only one airline (JetBlue) offers it for free and there's no guarantee that lasts. JetBlue has seen very good take rates overall and still pretty good performance most of the time (though it did fail half-way through my last flight). But take rates are growing, even on paid services, and the product quality is generally improving as well. I doubt the numbers will head the other direction anytime soon.
     
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  15. Pizzaman
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    I buy wifi every chance I get. I use the time to keep caught up on e-mail and clear out old e-mail from my inbox. For me, it means hitting the ground after landing without a couple hundred e-mails to go through.

    I understand I'm not the majority but single digit uptake numbers still surprise me a little bit.
     
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  16. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    Good, because if it was the other way around and 90% bought it can you imagine how intolerably slow the speeds would be?!
     
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  17. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    I agree with you -- saves a lot of time upon landing. I'd rather spend time exploring a new place than working on email.

    I think the cost is a factor -- it's quite a bit for what we get.
     
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  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Depends on the system. JetBlue has reported 100+ devices active (60%+ take rate) and good service on some transcon flights.
     
  19. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    Glad to hear there are improvements and hopefully other airlines will be as good as JetBlue. But bottom line is always going to be the available bandwidth distributed among all those who want some of it. And Gogo doesn't appear to be very smart about how they handle that.
     
  20. Wandering Aramean
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    I think gogo does a pretty good job in terms of how they distribute the bandwidth available. Their problem is not enough available. :-:
     
  21. Boraxo

    Boraxo Silver Member

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    +1. Also,the price is too high. If airline management was smart (I know that's an oxymoron) they would all give it away free like heroin dealers, get everyone hooked, and then slowly raise the price. Instead they price it higher than netflix charges for a month. I guess they think hotels do it so why can't we. But hotels give it away free to elites (again a nice perk) or at least you get 24 hrs and multiple devices, not 2-5 hours per device. Airlines are penny wise pound foolish.

    My last UA flight a good example. 787 with no wifi or directv but a fantastic IFE system that was completely useless to me as there was no way to watch the World Cup. Airline execs just don't seem to understand what passengers want.
     
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  22. Captain Oveur
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    Company has one of the Gogo monthly plans, and I use it regularly. Great to send e-mail, catch up on stuff, even catch up on news reading.

    My beef with Gogo is how it won't let me upload ~5mb Powerpoint files to Dropbox.
     
  23. Wandering Aramean
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    JetBlue is doing that as they roll out the system; having more users online helps them get the bugs out. But the Gogo airlines don't do that for a few reasons. First, they already did it a few years ago when the platform was new; it is not new any more. Also, the airlines don't own the systems outright; it is a partnership with Gogo so they cannot just give it away. And there are serious performance considerations with giving it away and having so many users online at a time.

    Wifi will be on the new United 787s deliveries direct from the factory and the existing planes will be retrofit. The part where Boeing and Panasonic didn't have everything worked on being able to provide the kit yet is a lot more the reason for it not being installed than UA execs not understanding what passengers want.

    As for no live TV on the international fleets, there's also the part where the satellites wouldn't cover the flight routes even if they did figure out the licensing issues. And that has nothing to do with the airlines but with the TV providers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  24. Boraxo

    Boraxo Silver Member

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    I get the international limitations, but it's frustrating to fly domestic routes where there is no wifi, no directv, no nothing except sometimes tiny monitors in the ceiling playing junk I never watch.

    I don't choose my flights based on IFE but this is just another minus factor for UA.
     
  25. Pizzaman
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    Don't forget the part where the monitors in the ceiling look worse than the 13" "color" TV I grew up with. Whole bunch of them make everyone in the picture look like relatives of the Incredible Hulk.
     

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