I appreciate not being connected from time to time, especially under forced circumstances such as during an airplane flight. It gives me a break from the noise generated by the Internet and some great me-time to reflect on life. But I guess not everyone views the respite from constant connection in this manner. Honeywell surveyed 3,000 adults from the United Kingdom, United States, and Singapore. From its findings, more than three out of four people view wireless access on planes as a necessity and expect the stability and speed to match those back home or in the office, especially on transoceanic or international flights.
More than 30 percent of the passengers also said that they would be disappointed if wi-fi is not offered, and approximately 90 percent would be pleased to give up certain amenities for consistent and fast wireless connectivity, even though the current experience is cramped and crowded. For Singaporeans, specifically, 61 percent of those surveyed just want to have the option of being connected while on the plane. More than 30 percent would ditch their preferred seats, and almost 25 percent would give up six inches of leg room just for good Internet.
Most passengers want the freedom to be connected for personal reasons, as opposed to professional ones. In fact, 40 percent of Singaporeans use the in-flight connection for personal stuff, from watching videos and streaming online music to making a doctor’s appointment at the destination country or even planning their weddings while flying 30,000 feet above ground. Some business reasons include downloading manuals, watching training videos, and writing blog entries (like my colleague Willis often does while flying).
In essence, people want their in-flight experience to be seamless and allow them to continue with their daily lives, even while flying. Honeywell also revealed that it has signed a technical services agreement to research and develop Ka-band products to bring these solutions to travelers.