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More than half of Australians can’t wait for inflight Wi-Fi



We may not be tethered to the ground, but most of us want to be tethered to the internet when we travel.

When we get on a planes, most of us are generally fussed with making sure that we can stow our bags in the overhead cabins as close to our seats, wondering just how inedible the food is going to be and whether the inflight entertainment system is going to work.

You can add to that list the question "Will I have inflight Wi-Fi available to me?" to that list, with research from finder today suggesting that more than half of Australia actively wants to be able to get online while they're airborne.

The survey results showed that 56% of Australians like the idea of inflight Wi-Fi being part of their domestic flights, with Gen Y flyers being the most keen on the concept. Breaking it down further, if you're a Gen Y Apple iPhone owner, you're more than likely to be pro inflight Wi-Fi, with 66% of Apple-owning respondents being in favour of the service being offered, and 79% of Gen Y respondents being keen. Comparatively only 31% of Baby Boomers are keen on inflight Wi-Fi.

Some folks do still like the idea of being entirely removed from worldly issues while they're not actually standing on the world itself, but this appears to be a shrinking quantity that mostly breaks along age lines. Only 19% of the surveyed respondents didn't like the idea, while 25% were essentially indifferent. Only 7% actively wanted to stay offline while in flight.

So if you've got inflight internet, what are you going to do with it? Don't tell your boss, but it appears that we're not so keen on actually being productive while in the air, with only 4% of respondents saying that they'd like to get more work done.

Instead, increasingly we'd like inflight internet in order to stream movies and TV shows (30%) or stay in touch with friends and family via social media (18%). For those who disliked inflight internet, concerns about staying offline topped the list of complaints at 7%, while concerns about use with ill intentions and having to listen to other people's Skype calls were other primary factors at 6% and 5% respectively.

Qantas has already launched its first domestic Wi-Fi enabled service powered by a connection inflight to NBN's Sky Muster satellites. Virgin Australia is currently trialling its own inflight Wi-Fi services, with both airlines clearly seeing it as a premium price point differentiator.

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