Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Which Airlines Offer Wi-Fi? A Useful Guide

ABC News today has a useful guide with an update on which domestic airlines offer in-flight Wi-Fi, to what degree and at what price.

My only quibble is this on the section about American Airlines: "Right now, American doesn't have any way to tell customers in advance which MD-80s will have Wi-Fi ..."

As noted here the other day, American now has a widget on its Web site that enables you to identify a Wi-Fi equipped flight 24 hours before departure.

The next big question, now that Wi-Fi is so widely available: How many passengers are actually paying to use it? So far, the "take rate," which is the term the industry uses to describe the percentage of passengers who opt to pay for Wi-Fi, remains very low, in the range of 5 to 7 percent on average, from what I hear. (The rate, of course, goes up when various promotions and sales are in effect).

You can't sustain a Wi-Fi business on those numbers.

Continental, which is slowly installing live TV, has been the odd man out so far among the major airlines on the rush to inflight Wi-Fi, and is the one to watch.



No comments: