Passengers Willing to Switch Airlines for Faster Wi-Fi Option

July 13, 2016
A recent airline passenger survey conducted by Honeywell found that most travelers said they would switch airlines completely if it meant faster, more reliable connection. The study found that 21 percent have already made the switch.

It's no secret that Wi-Fi connection is high on the list of priorities for airport passengers. (Think: business class passengers checking emails, or, recently, young people on the hunt for Pokemon through the new, popular Pokemon Go app.) 

A recent airline passenger survey conducted by Honeywell Aerospace, which the  technology and manufacturing company also conducted in 2014, found that most travelers said they would switch airlines completely if it meant faster, more reliable connection. The study found that 21 percent have already made the switch for a better in-flight option.  

"To avoid losing passengers and revenue, airlines need a connectivity service that is reliable all the time, no matter where they fly,” Carl Esposito, vice president of Honeywell Aerospace marketing and product management, said in a news release.  

Currently, 22 percent of the 1,008 respondents, compared to the 27 percent in 2014, reported their Wi-Fi as "extremely reliable."  And extremely reliable means, to 84 percent of the travelers, that the connection should be the same as they receive at a home or office. 

But with increased connectivity, some authorities are weary of cybersecurity threats to other aircraft systems.  

Back in April, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass) proposed a bill, the Cyber AIR Act, and was seeking a report to study the "vulnerabilities" of consumer Wi-Fi on planes.  

"As technology rapidly advances to keep passengers and planes connected, we must ensure that the airline industry is vigilant in protecting its aircraft and systems from cybersecurity breaches and attacks,” Markey said in a news release.