Wi-Fi, Yes. Talking to Co-Passengers, No
And we told you so.
In a New Media Travel article we discussed the low to-no threat that cell phones pose to navigation, and why some many airlines like Emirates are permitting cell phone use in flight. US-based airlines don’t.
But we also said most passengers don’t actually want to talk in the air. Nor do they want to talk to their co-passengers.
Apparently saying “I love you,” at 35,000 feet isn’t a great a temptation for 38% of us who fly.
It seems we’d rather enjoy the quietness of a Wi-Fi free zone. But, as Female First reports, way more than half of flying passengers would gladly give up the airlines’ in-flight entertainment systems if Wi-Fi were offered.
The key attraction, predictably, is “keeping in touch.” But about 60% of those polled by leading search site, Skyscanner said they especially want to be able to post to Facebook and Twitter while up in the air.
Skyscanner, by the way, has a cool iPad app that makes searching for flight easy and clear.
Interestingly, while most passengers are eager to maintain some kind of connectivity to people on the ground and their Social Media platforms, they have no interest in talking with their co- passengers.
If at all, women are more likely to chat up their seat mates, but a huge 25%, mostly men, say they have no interest at all in talking to other passengers. They’d rather chat with friends over Skype.
How would people mostly use the Wi-Fi option? They’d stream films and TV shows. Skyscanner spokesperson, Victoria Bailie, was quoted by Female First as saying that after boarding, flipping through the airline’s brochure and maybe cracking a book, technology is urging passengers toward more connectivity, or at least more communications options.
But Bailie also reaffirmed the idea that while there IS a strong demand for Wi-Fi, there isn’t a corresponding desire for in-flight mobile calls.
Probably, like some trains, there may well emerge a “quiet section,” like the old “smoking section,” but like smoke, sound drifts.
Book lovers, however need not despair. Many flyers say they spend at least two hours reading on board.
We’ll have to ask them next year if their reading time has decreased as Wi-Fi increasingly penetrates and defines the flying experience.