Connectivity is one of the biggest topics in aviation right now, with the likes of Emirates and to some extent American airlines leading the way.
However in the UK, very few airlines have actually wired up to the networks in the sky. Of course Virgin Atlantic’s 787–9 Dreamliners are equipped with Wi-Fi and there are plans to retrofit this functionality to Virgin’s entire fleet of aircraft. But it’s larger competitor British Airways, are not expected to introduce connectivity until at least early next year on more than 230 aircraft – as recently announced by its parent company, IAG.
Other European carriers such as Monarch and easyJet who operate shorthaul services do not really see the need for Wi-Fi since the flight time is very short and passengers do not have access to in-flight entertainment systems. But with more and more individuals owning a smart phone or tablet, could there potentially be the market for passengers to stream in-flight entertainment content from their own devices?
Obviously connectivity and flying is not everyone’s cup of tea; and some feel it would take away from the passenger experience. Imagine paying thousands of pounds for a business class flight only to be constantly distracted by those few passengers around you who are tapping away responding to emails on their laptops or who are even taking part a conference call whilst at 30,000 feet. I for one and then the on the fence with this topic.
What do you think about airline connectivity in Europe? Is it something you are looking forward to like me have not yet made up your mind?