According to a recent study conducted by U.S. in-flight connectivity company Gogo, one in five users of the service say they have switched from their preferred airline to be on a flight equipped with in-flight internet.
Gogo says the study also showed that more than 50 per cent of U.S. business travelers and 40 per cent of leisure travelers who said they switched airlines for in-flight Wi-Fi would not fly without the service for their next trip.
“We’re definitely finding that more and more travelers are booking air travel based on Wi-Fi availability,” says Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo’s chief marketing officer. “This is especially true for business travelers. We frequently hear stories from business travelers who made their travel decision based on the availability of Gogo on their flights – regardless of loyalty or rewards programs.”
Among business travelers who have used Gogo, two-thirds say that in-flight internet is extremely important or very important for their next business trips. According to the study, the biggest reason cited for not using Gogo was because it wasn’t available on the flight.
“Wi-Fi on a plane is becoming a necessity for travelers, especially business travelers,” says ElDifrawi. “Not having Wi-Fi on a plane is similar to not having internet access or cell-phone coverage in a hotel. And not having Wi-Fi on every plane in an airline’s fleet is similar to a hotel only offering connectivity in a few random rooms. Neither scenario is attractive to business travelers.”
Additional findings from the study include a ranking of the most popular activities for travelers who use Gogo in the air. Checking work and personal e-mail ranks as the number one activity, followed closely by web-surfing.
Some of travelers’ most popular browsing activities on the web include accessing news and weather; looking at maps and directions; reading magazines and newspapers; researching restaurants and activities; shopping and gathering information; and banking.
Overall, eight in 10 Gogo users reported their travel experience was more satisfying because of Gogo, the study found.
The study, which was based on surveys conducted by Gogo and external research firm Murphy Research, asked questions of more than 7,000 Gogo users and members of the general U.S. traveling population. The surveys were conducted in July and August, 2011.