Australian business travellers are gagging for in-flight Internet

Angus Kidman 2 February 2017 NEWS

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80% want to be online all the time.

Both Qantas and Virgin will start offering in-flight Internet access on domestic flights in 2017. Some whingers will inevitably complain about how this will destroy work-life balance (it won't) or result in passengers making non-stop calls in flight (it shouldn't). But people who have to fly regularly for work are hanging out for it to happen.

Australians took 2.3 million business-related flights last year, and the majority of travellers took more than one trip. Once the novelty of the miniature sandwiches and the in-flight video fades, being able to get connected and work is a very appealing option.

New figures from Roy Morgan Research (based on a survey of 1,237 Australian business travellers) underline that frequent flyers are demanding. 80% of them agree that they're interested in having Internet access wherever they are. In the modern 4G world, flying is the biggest barrier to that happening.

In the same group, 56% agree that they need to be contactable at all times for work. As a long-time advocate for the view that individuals need to control their own work/life balance, I can live with that figure. And if you do fall into that 56%, having in-flight Internet will give you more communication options. To be clear, voice and video calls shouldn't fall into that category. I'm predicting (and hoping) that these will be banned in-flight, just as they are by most airlines that offer in-flight connectivity. But that still leaves email and chat options galore.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on finder.com.au.

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