In breaking down the “hybrid” approach, the value between the two options — complimentary or paid access — is based on both time (the amount of time the traveler needs to spend online) and bandwidth (the speed the traveler prefers during their session), sometimes the need for Wi-Fi is simply to check a hotel reservation or email before boarding, and in this situation the only obstacle standing between the traveler and checking their personal email is the requirement to view a sponsored 30-second advertisement.
The complimentary, or sponsored Wi-Fi option has countless benefits, but the largest advantage we have seen is that more individuals find their way online simply because it is available for free.
Think about this, the airport patrons are enjoying a resource provided by the airport, while at the same time they are sitting amongst a host of other high-end amenities presented by the facility. This comfort to travelers, along with the concept of surfing the Web from the airport without paying, can translate directly to high customer satisfaction scores.
So, why is the premium option available if so many individuals enjoy the complimentary option?
It’s actually very simple. The paid option, which represents the second component of the hybrid model, gives travelers the option to enjoy a faster Internet session with an extended time limit free of advertisements. At the same time, the airport benefits by recouping some of the revenue lost in moving away from one of the previously popular payment models.
Creating an airport experience that is noteworthy, self-funding, and potentially profitable for the facility is an endless challenge that can at times defy logic. Airport Wi-Fi appears to be the latest customer service target for airport administrators, and its requirements will continue to evolve as devices and data needs evolve.
By presenting a multi-faceted option, like the hybrid Wi-Fi model, airports can now add another element to their passenger services program for travelers continually seeking choice.