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July 24th, 2014

Honeywell Aerospace—The In-Flight Wi-Fi Findings Are... (Analysis | Report)

[SatNews] In its second annual survey, Honeywell Aerospace (NYSE: HON) finds that in-flight Wi-Fi is becoming increasingly influential on a passenger’s buying and wireless usage behavior, including flight selections and, in some cases, paying more for a specific flight.

Following up on the 2013 Wireless Connectivity survey, and as the popularity of staying wirelessly connected grows, the 2014 Honeywell survey affirms that fliers expect constant and speedy Wi-Fi when traveling. The research was conducted by Kelton among more than 1,000 adults in the United States who have used Wi-Fi on planes within the past 12 months.

“You can pack your own meals, but you can’t pack your own Wi-Fi,” said Jack Jacobs, vice president, Marketing and Product Management, Honeywell Aerospace. “The commercial aviation industry has to pay attention to meet the demands of passengers, giving them the freedom to stay connected whenever and wherever they want. Honeywell’s survey affirms that consumers are accustomed to easy access to Wi-Fi, and they expect it to be fast and consistent like at home or work. Those expectations are expanding up into the sky.”

The results also indicate that fliers believe wireless connectivity should always be a part of the in-flight experience, and it may even be viewed as a necessity:

  • In-flight Wi-Fi availability influences flight selection for 66 percent of passengers
  • Nearly one in four (22 percent) admitted they’ve paid more for a flight with Wi-Fi, and close to one in five (17 percent) have switched from their preferred airline because another carrier had better Wi-Fi offerings
  • Demand is so strong that 37 percent would be upset if they didn’t have Wi-Fi access on their next flight, which is about the same amount (35 percent) as those who would be disappointed about not having food or drinks available for purchase
  • Eighty-five percent would use Wi-Fi on most or all flights if it was free

Constant accessibility is key, but passengers also desire fast connections that enable them to stream videos, live chat with friends and family, and download files quickly. Almost half the respondents would be willing to experience a travel-related inconvenience for Wi-Fi that’s as fast as it is at home. From this group:

  • Over two in five (45 percent) of these people would endure airport security twice
  • More than one in three (34 percent) would show up three hours before boarding time for superior speed
  • Twenty-nine percent would even swap their ticket to fly standby on a plane with Wi-Fi that’s as fast as it is at home

The Honeywell survey results asserted that air passengers demand constant and speedy Wi-Fi and also explored why passengers desire it so much. Consistent connectivity can enable productivity, entertainment and a little bit of fun: 

  • Thirty-nine percent received personal or general breaking news in-flight
  • Close to one in five (19 percent) have used in-flight Wi-Fi to plan their next vacation
  • Nine percent of respondents pretended they were in the office while on vacation

Fliers are keeping themselves entertained onboard with Wi-Fi and, interestingly, the survey found that over half (54 percent) say they would be embarrassed if an in-flight neighbor saw what they were doing for fun, including: 

  • Fifty percent would be embarrassed if someone saw them perusing a dating site
  • Thirty-two percent would be embarrassed if they were caught watching cat videos
  • Thirty percent would not want to be seen watching children’s movies

Honeywell’s connectivity product portfolio caters to customers’ needs from the cockpit to the cabin. As demand for fast in-flight connectivity continues to grow, Honeywell has built a focus on providing a comprehensive portfolio of products and services, whether it is air-to-ground, L-band or GX Ka-band solutions, to meet the needs of regional and global customers. Honeywell’s connectivity products have the largest air transport installed base and are onboard almost every aircraft with current broadband solutions. Honeywell is well-positioned to bring together its connectivity experience with proven systems integration to deliver the most expansive, consistent, high-speed connectivity network in the world.

For further information, please visit http://aerospace.honeywell.com/