Media Release

Inflight Wi-Fi ready for take off, but 44% of Aussies aren’t sold on it

  • One in five Australians dislike the idea of inflight Wi-Fi
  • Many prefer the peace and quiet of being disconnected
  • How you can maximise your inflight entertainment

30 May, 2017, Sydney, Australia -- While many Australians appear to be addicted to their smartphones, new research reveals that for many, being on a plane isn’t the time or place to be connected, according finder.com.au, Australia’s most visited comparison site1.

Both Qantas and Virgin are currently trialling inflight Wi-Fi for domestic flights, and both plan to have services rolled out by 2017. But how popular will they be remains to be seen.

The survey of 2,010 people shows that 44% of respondents either don’t like or don’t care about Wi-Fi becoming available on domestic airlines. Broken down, the research reveals 19% dislike the prospect of inflight Internet, while 25% are indifferent.

Those against the idea prefer the peace and quiet that comes with being disconnected. Others are concerned about Wi-Fi being used with ill intentions while some don’t want to have to listen to other people talking on the phone.

Angus Kidman, tech and travel expert at finder.com.au, isn’t surprised by Aussies’ rejection of inflight Wi-Fi, but suspects that people complaining now may ultimately end up embracing the service.

"While it's understandable that some people want the option to switch off, it's worth remembering that no-one can force you to use Wi-Fi inflight. I suspect that once the service is widely available, many people who currently say they're opposed will be sneaking onto Wi-Fi to help pass the time during a flight."

Overall, over half of respondents (56%) like the idea of Wi-Fi being available on domestic airlines. Of them, the main appeal is to watch their own movies and TV shows.

“You don’t necessarily need the Internet to keep yourself entertained whilst in transit,” Mr Kidman says.

“These days there are plenty of options for inflight entertainment. Some airlines have their own app where you can watch content mid-air on your own device. And you can always download movies or shows before you board. Streaming services like Netflix and Stan have also recently launched an offline viewing function making it easy to keep binging on your favourite TV shows without being connected.”

Communication and productivity round out the top three reasons why Aussies like the idea of Internet in the air. Some would like to be connected to keep in touch via social media while others say they’ll be able to get more work done.

Not surprisingly, Gen Y has the biggest appetite for connectivity with 79% indicating they’d like Wi-Fi compared to Baby Boomers (31%) and Gen X (56%).

"Social media is a clearly a key driver for many people who want Wi-Fi on the plane. Expect to see a wave of in-the-air selfies once it becomes more widely available!"

Top reasons for inflight Wi-Fi

  • I’ll stay entertained with my own movies and TV shows
  • I’ll keep in touch with friends and family via social media
  • I’ll get more work done
  • I’ll have the chance to Skype/voice call friends and family

Top reasons against inflight Wi-Fi

  • I prefer to stay disconnected, it’s more peaceful
  • I’m worried about it being used with ill intentions
  • I’ll have to listen to other people on the phone/on Skype
  • I’ll have to work on the flight (when travelling for work)

How to maximise your inflight entertainment

Don’t forget your phone charger

While you might think inflight Wi-Fi is convenient it does come at a cost. Using the Internet on your mobile phone can drain your battery, and before you know it your phone is dead by the time you land -- you might find yourself lost and with no way to communicate with others or find your way around. Some modern planes have USB ports which can be used with your charging cable. Don’t forget to bring your charge along, or try out these handy tips to improve your battery life, if you don’t want to get caught out.

Download the right app beforehand

Most airlines now offer an app that can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet prior to boarding. If you want to access your airlines inflight entertainment libraries you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared and have the app already installed before you take off.

Offline viewing

Netflix and Stan now offer the option to watch TV shows and movies without being connected to the Internet. You will need to download the content you want to watch while you have an connection though, so make sure you load up your device with your favourite shows or movies at home or in Wi-Fi range. You don’t want to open Netflix just after take-off to see that you forgot to download the latest episodes of House of Cards.

Invest in some decent headphones

Plane trips can be noisy. Even on short haul flights you’re bound to experience a crying baby or loud laugher. If you’re looking to switch off while you’re in transit it’s best to invest in some decent full-sized headphones, ideally with noise cancelling. You can pop them on, put your head in a book (or your tablet) and forget where you are until you land.
1 Experian Hitwise since 2015

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Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

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More than 3 million Australians turn to finder.com.au every month to save money, time and make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, we’ve helped our users make more than 17 million decisions.

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