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Air Travelers Say Low Ticket Price Trumps Wi-Fi

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 4:10am

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In-flight Wi-Fi is one perk you're willing do without this holiday season, according to a new study. With all the presents and food you'll need to buy this holiday season, if you're buying airfare too, you're looking for just a bare-bones flight.

According to a recent survey, holiday travelers are most concerned with the price of airfare tickets -- not whether the airline has perks like Wi-Fi and on-board snacks and beverages. In a survey of 1,100 adults conducted by Research Now and commissioned by Qualtrics, only 25% said airline amenities like Wi-Fi, snacks, and in-flight entertainment are important to improving their holiday travel experience. More than half (55%) say lower fares are the single most important factor airlines could improve in order to secure their business during this holiday season.

“We see more and more airlines offering perks like Wi-Fi, legroom and snacks, but the bottom line is that they’re actually doing very little to move travelers," Dani Wanderer, chief marketing officer at Qualtrics tells Mashable. "If airlines are really listening to their customers, cost is what matters most. Airlines can spare the bells and whistles of other perks, and bring the savings right to their customers.”

The Qualtrics study also showed more than 50% of holiday travelers plan to spend between $300 and $500 per person on airfare this holiday season. In addition, 37% say they are planning to spend more than $500 per ticket.

Perhaps all the holiday spending has people wanting to find somewhere to budget. But the survey also shows customers said they consider ticket price above all else for future travel, too. For some airlines, Wi-Fi access and an affordable ticket aren't mutually exclusive. On airlines without guaranteed Wi-Fi access, customers see little or no added cost, while on those that have guaranteed Wi-Fi, tickets can be pricey.

This contradicts other reports about how much consumers love in-flight Wi-Fi. More and more airlines are offering Wi-Fi, but it's not uncommon for the Wi-Fi to not work.

Which raises the question -- exactly how much are consumers willing to spend on in-flight Wi-Fi? Tell us how much extra you would pay to buy a ticket for a flight with Wi-Fi versus a cheaper one without it.

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December 18, 2012

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