• Filipinos want online connection while flying

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    Most Filipino travelers still want to be connected online while in-flight, Skyscanner, a leading global travel search site, said its latest research.

    “This is not surprising as more and more Filipinos purchase smartphones and wifi-ready gadgets that result in increased demand for wifi access,” said  Janet Ranola, manager of Skyscanner Philippines.

    The Filipino habit of documenting and sharing travel photos reinforced this need.
    In-flight wifi topped the list of most-wanted in-flight entertainment in a new research conducted by leading global travel search site Skyscanner, with 52 percent of passengers prepared to pay access to the Internet at 30,000 feet.

    According to the site, about 1,000 Filipino travelers were asked which in-flight add-ons they would pay extra for. While in-flight wifi is in demand, less than 40 percent would pay for newspapers or magazines to keep abreast of news during their flight.

    With some airlines such as Emirates now offer live TV onboard, travelers were asked if they would be prepared to pay for such a service.

    The researched revealed that only 36 percent would pay to access live television, but demand for movies is more popular with 46 percent. Video games also proved popular with a quarter of passengers prepared to pay extra to keep themselves entertained with in-flight consoles.

    When it comes to in-flight comfort, 46 percent would pay for extra legroom, while almost half or about 48 percent would pay extra to sit in two-person row of seats.

    Delving deeper into the research, the findings showed that women are prepared to pay more in almost every category—except food. As expected, younger travelers were keener to pay for additional items across the board than their older counterparts, with 60 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds prepared to pay for wifi and 40 percent for movies, compared to only 30 percent and 27 percent of over 55’s, respectively.

    Install wifi onboard
    Cebu Pacific earlier said that it will provide OnAir Internet service to passengers in its Airbus A330 fleet starting in 2013.

    The budget airline also has the option to install wifi on its fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft for short-haul flights in the next phase.

    The carrier said that once Internet OnAir is in service, Cebu Pacific passengers will be able to access the Internet during flights and make calls using Voice Over IP applications, using their wifi-enabled personal electronic devices, such as Android phones and tablets, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and laptops.

    Cebu Pacific’s A330 fleet is scheduled to have wifi installed mid-next year, in time for the airline’s initial deployment of long-haul services.

    Skyscanner is a leading global travel search site providing instant online comparisons for millions of flights. It is available in 40 countries and in 30 languages.

    Rosalie C. Periabras

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