Honeywell Aerospace released a survey that signals a shift among consumers in the definition of airplane passenger comfort and confirms an increasing demand for global, transoceanic, fast and consistent in-flight wireless connectivity. The research was conducted among more than 3,000 adults in the United Kingdom, United States and Singapore who have used Wi-Fi within the past 12 months.
For most travelers, the current commercial flight experience can be summarized in one word: crowded. Crowded flights and cramped seats have become the norm. According to the Honeywell survey, however, almost 90 percent of fliers would give up an amenity on their flight - preferred seats, extra legroom and more - to be guaranteed a faster and more consistent wireless connection. This finding potentially alters how passengers define comfort on flights. The survey indicated:
More than one-third of Americans and Singaporeans and nearly half of Britons who would give up an amenity would give up a preferred seat for a better Internet connection.
Almost two-thirds of passengers would rather have access to fast in-flight Wi-Fi that allows them to stream video and music than sit in their preferred seat.More Connections, Please
More than three in four fliers surveyed think wireless access should always be available on planes. And when it comes to the current in-flight Wi-Fi experience, passengers want the type of consistency and speed experienced at home or in the office, especially on transoceanic or international flights.
In-flight Wi-Fi service causes frustrations for nearly nine in ten users worldwide. Inconsistent or slow connections disappoint fliers most.
More than one-third of passengers surveyed would be disappointed if in-flight Wi-Fi was not available on an international flight or over an ocean.
Personal Trumps Professional
Survey results also indicate that travelers use Wi-Fi for personal rather than professional reasons.
Almost three-quarters of Americans (73 percent) and two-thirds of Britons (63 percent) and Singaporeans (61 percent) simply want the option to be connected.
More respondents say they use in-flight connectivity predominantly for personal purposes (55 percent U.S., 42 percent U.K., 40 percent Singapore), while fewer (22 percent U.S., 30 percent U.K., 29 percent Singapore) use it mostly for professional reasons.
Going Wireless with Honeywell
Honeywell's extensive line of satellite and connectivity products ranges from basic voice over data communications in the cockpit to high-speed connectivity with unlimited potential applications in the cockpit and cabin. Through product development and recent acquisitions and partnerships, Honeywell plans to deliver truly global high-speed in-flight connectivity to passengers by enabling airlines and airplane manufacturers to access Inmarsat's GX Ka-band satellite constellation. By early 2015, passengers can expect to shop, access email, connect with friends on social networking sites, and enjoy live streaming for entertainment and more, and will be able to do so with a consistent connection across oceans and regions.
Bill Kircos, vice president of communications, Honeywell Aerospace
"We've all experienced the entertainment and productivity gains a connected home and office provide us. It's clear there is now strong demand for the connected aircraft - so much so that passengers are willing to give up a preferred seat to have access to a high-speed, highly reliable broadband connection that is available across oceans and continents."
"When it comes to current in-flight Wi-Fi, people are just plain frustrated. Not only do passengers expect every flight to offer Internet service, they also want it to behave just as though they were sitting in their office or at home. Honeywell is at the center of making this a reality."