In-flight WiFi uptake still pretty paltry

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by Wandering Aramean, Oct 3, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Yes, the take rate has increased from 4% to 7% in the past year. That's great news year over year. But it is still a pretty low number IMO. Even more interesting to me is that the folks who generated the report suggest that, at 7% uptake, in-flight internet service is somehow a competitive requirement rather than just a nice feature.

    So ignoring the fact that most flights in the USA still do not offer the service it is apparently a requirement. :confused:

    More on this report here and here.
     
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  2. Travel2Food
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    Travel2Food Silver Member

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    Well, I was zero-uptake on my last 4 flights. A couple of bad experiences where the service slowed down to the point of being useless made me re-evaluate my spending. I don't mind spending if I get some "value", but continued and repeated site connect failures and 2 minutes to load a page (on multiple pages, not just one) doesn't seem like "value" to me.

    If that's what 7% uptake does, I shudder at the thought of 25% uptake.
     
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  3. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    The cost is still too high. I saw an ad on a US flight recently for $6 and thought "that's not bad." Then I tried to log on and found $6 is what they charge for a 2-hour flight. I wasn't going to pay $13 to surf the internet for 4 hours. Maybe if I had work to do, but then they're limiting themselves to business travelers. It's almost as bad as the Hilton that tried to charge me 22 euro for 60 minutes of dial-up with a 200 MB download cap.
     
  4. Lufthansa Flyer
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    LH lets you have it for 20 Euro for 24 hours. Was pleasantly surprised when it was offered on an A330 recently. The rate covers any LH operated flights within that 24 hours that have WIFI.
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I had a friend use this last week and he said the service on MUC-NYC was pretty good, though it took until they were over the UK to work well. But he was happy with the connection and getting work done. Of course, they don't have global coverage yet, but it is still pretty solid.

    Still not a competitive requirement that I can see.
     
  6. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Agree, not a deal breaker in terms of flying with a carrier or not.
     
  7. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    I think the major drivers of onboard Wifi use will be more leisure than business use - but to date it is priced for mission-critical business use. If you are on a 2-hour flight, it's pretty rare that you'd have a business need that can't wait - hence that 4-7% adoption rate. If pricing comes down, or the monthly rate comes down, adoption will grow.

    More widespread electric outlets will help, too. Alaska offers WiFi on almost all flights but no electric power at all. CO offers power on many planes but no WiFi.

    Seems like a great opportunity for Amex to restore a travel benefit to Platinum to give a free or highly discounted subscription to Gogo. I think Alaska found that use was like four times higher when it was free or sponsored.
     
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  8. SC Flier
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    Same problem on US where Gogo is still limited only to A321s without power outlets. :confused:
     
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  9. adexpert
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    adexpert Silver Member

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    I think Mission Critical is probably a bit strong. I fly UA everywhere and they are more or less Internet-less, but, the plane is also my favorite office location. The number of times in the past few years where I've been on a flight and realized I was missing a file or needed to look something up and was thus blocked on what I planned is numerable. I wouldn't call that Mission Critical in the slightest, but, well worth 10 bucks or whatever it comes down to.
     

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