How Important is Wi-Fi When Flying?

Yeah I know, we are becoming increasingly expectant of Wi-Fi availability, at least on domestic flights. Well, not entirely. Are you listening, United? But I digress.

This article reminded me of this Wi-Fi survey sponsored by Honeywell. In their second annual survey, Honeywell tells us that about two-thirds of passengers look for Wi-Fi when selecting a flight. The article slightly misstates that almost 30% will change flights to standby to have better Wi-Fi. The survey actually said that 29% would be willing to fly standby only if the Wi-Fi was as fast as they had at home.

Based on my experience over the past few years with Wi-Fi – and admittedly I am a big fan of GoGo Inflight – these results seem quite extreme. As always, the devil lies in the details. Respondents to the survey were passengers in the U.S. who had used Wi-Fi at least once during the past year. In other words, it is limited to those who have a strong desire for Wi-Fi while flying.

It looks like the article’s young journalism major author took the press release bait from Honeywell but didn’t follow through with any research. Not mentioned in the article is that the sponsor of the survey was actually Honeywell Aerospace. In fact Honeywell is a primary source of equipment for inflight Wi-Fi. Obviously they benefit greatly as more passengers desire fast broadband Wi-Fi when flying. Nevertheless, it is entertaining to not only read the survey results but compare them with last year’s results.

Disclosure: I have a Honeywell Wi-Fi controlled thermostat that I absolutely love. I adjust the temp when I go away, then reset the temp when I arrive back at the airport. Love it!


  1. Call me old school but I really don’t care if there is wifi onboard. Yes, I have used it in the past but overall I prefer the IFE. 😉
    I rarely go to movie theaters nowadays since they’re quite pricey ($15 for a movie ticket?) and I am totally ok with catching up with my movies during a transcontinental flight.

  2. Joey, you sound like my husband who also enjoys using IFE to get caught up on movies. The only difference is when my husband has work to do, he will use the wi-fi on his laptop/iPad while also watching the IFE movie. You know, killing two birds and all that stuff.

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