Flyers Demand Better Connectivity


Airline passengers want more Internet access inflight and named connectivity as the top area for improvement to the inflight experience, according to the first of a new series of global surveys of passengers being conducted by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX).

The first APEX Global Passenger Experience Survey – which collected feedback from more than 1,500 flyers from eight countries – showed a strong desire worldwide for a passenger experience that is customizable, from selection of inflight reading materials to availability of food and drink. Expectations for improved inflight entertainment and connectivity were focal points for improvement, with 36% of respondents strongly wanting connectivity improvements and 28% wanting expanded inflight entertainment options.

“The industry has greatly improved the comfort, ambience, connectivity and entertainment onboard aircraft, and this data underscores that passengers are embracing those improvements,” said Russell Lemieux, APEX executive director. “At the same time, passengers are demanding more from their air travel experiences which will drive more innovations touching all aspects of the journey.”

The survey was created by APEX to be a periodic representation of changing passenger expectations as they relate to the overall passenger experience. The results are a statistically relevant snapshot of flying behaviours and preferences.

Among other findings from the passenger survey:

  • Thirty-eight per cent of respondents listed comfortable seating as the top priority for improvements.
  • Twenty-nine per cent of male respondents said they want quieter cabins.
  • Twenty-six per cent of women respondents prioritized upgraded lavatories.
  • Women are 30% more likely than men to pay to check extra bags, even if overhead luggage space is no concern.
  • Sixty-two per cent of passengers bought food prior to boarding, even if 70% are satisfied with inflight food.
  • Being on time is the biggest concern for passengers on the ground prior to the flight, followed by seat selection and legroom.
  • Passengers under 34 are the most active in social connectivity, but travellers between 35 and 54 also are highly active online – with 43% who said they engaged in in-flight social connectivity at least once in a three-month span of flying.