The airline I work for has been doing a trial run of offering free data to all passengers flying with us and it has been a bit of an annoyance for the cabin crew because we now have to deal with passengers asking for connection assistance in addition to everything else we have to deal with. It doesn’t end there however – since it’s a trial run we have to be part of the process of giving feedback to management, which means we’re called upon to interpret some data we’re made to analyse.
Basically the reconnaissance mission is one of establishing how passengers use the free Wi-Fi they get on board, even though at this stage it’s a mere 10mb per passenger, per device. The information gathered is not personally-identifiable, so no privacy issues there and it’s gathered with each of the users’ permission. This is how it’s all shaping up:
Yes, last-minute destination accommodation bookings topped the list of what passengers used their free data for. Very interesting – and one can perhaps assume it’s either as a means through which to take advantage of special last-minute deals (there are a lot of those) or it may be travellers who weren’t quite sure they’d get a visa for wherever it is they’re travelling, which they’ve since gotten I would assume.
Online Sports Betting
Sports betting comes in at a close second, particularly UK sports betting. It seems as if the ladies are also into it because many passengers used their free data to visit online sports betting platforms, with the numbers staying consistently high even when there were more female passengers than males on the surveyed flights.
Checking Sports Results
This is perhaps very closely linked with the sports betting use for the free data passengers received and I guess it makes sense because the outcomes of the wagers put down depend on the results of sporting events. What this also suggests however is that Brits make up what is a sports-mad nation, with a very wide range of sporting codes’ results being checked on.
We were told to consider this one separately from last-minute bookings because for this use of their free data, passengers were only really just searching to get a better feel for where they are going. Many of them indicated to research another destination beyond the one they were heading to on that specific flight they were on, checking for ideas on where to possibly go afterwards, before heading back home.
Air Miles Logging
Another popular activity for which the free on-board Wi-Fi was used is logging traveller miles as part of the airline’s loyalty and rewards programme. Talk about making certain not to miss out on the subsequent perks on offer!
A deeper analysis of the data suggests that the act of checking emails as a use for passengers’ free on-board Wi-Fi actually ranks much higher, with the ranking fluctuating based on the size of the aircraft. Bigger aircrafts have bigger business-class cabins in which case more passengers actually used their free data to check their emails.