In-flight Internet Users Take Flight; Airlines Increasing Coverage

March 23, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Spending time during long flights is the most boring challenge you have in life. That is the reason you pick flights with in-flight Wi-Fi service. A new study conducted by research firm In-Stat has revealed that the number of people willing to pay for internet during flights is increasing.

As per the study, the number has almost got double during a one-year period. People who are ready to pay up to $5 and $13 have reached an 8 percent mark among total air passengers in one year.

It will hit the double digit mark by the end of 2012, says the study. The ratio is higher among passengers flying between tech cities like San Francisco and Boston. Here they constitute almost 25 percent of the total flight passengers.

Though the number of people is increasing, most of them find the service overpriced. As per the study, passengers felt that a $2 to $5 price per session is will be real reasonable.

Finding the trend in favor, more and more carrier companies are expanding their in-flight Wi-Fi service fleet-wide. US Airways has come out with a recent announcement that it will expand the Wi-Fi service to 90 percent of its fleet strength. Many are following the path.

Though the usual Gogo service is offering in-flight internet for $5 for up to 90 minutes and $10 for up to three hours, carriers like Southwest Airlines offers just $5 for it regardless of the period of flight. However, they are yet to cover their entire fleet.

Gogo, is planning to shift its method of operation from ground station based internet service to Satellite based one to expand the service to flights outside US. What do you have to say about the study?

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