Joe Leader, CEO, APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association)
Today, a passenger’s experience plays a significant role when selecting an airline. Passengers now expect in-flight experience to be comparable to their on-the-ground experience, which is why connectivity is playing a growing role.
An Inmarsat study showed that when given a choice, 67% of passengers would select in-flight connectivity over food and beverage on their flight. Additionally, 69% of passengers said that in-flight connectivity influences their selection of airlines, and 80% would like to use Wi-Fi.
The connected aircraft is about the nose-to-tail experience. It's about how you can drive more success for your airline, your business, and your bottom line leveraging every single segment of data.
Connectivity as a revenue generator
A passenger’s perceived value can impact how they view their flight, as well as the airline they are flying. While connectivity shouldn’t be viewed as a cost center, airlines should see it as a revenue opportunity.
Identifying a customer’s preferences (ex: food/beverage, content, seating) can trigger upgrade opportunities for the airline by anticipating needs in an organic way.
Leveraging targeted marketing insights is another way for airlines to boost their revenue. A one size fits all advertising message usually generates a one size fits all rate. However, by offering personalized ads, airlines could see a one fifth to one seventh increase in revenue.
2025: the future of the personalized experience
By 2025, it is projected that aircraft will not only remain connected at all altitudes, but every low bandwidth connected device on every passenger aircraft will automatically connect while on board.
But the future of connectivity could extend to exciting new heights. For example, in-flight wearables will provide airlines with unique data on their customer, from hydration levels, other biofeedback and more.
Imagine being able to anticipate when a passenger is thirsty, and offering them a drink. That will be a whole new level of the personalized experience!