The future of Inflight Entertainment in Europe, according to passenger expectations: Why Airlines should embrace Consumer Technology
Textbook 2014 114 Pages
Consumerization - passengers toting their tablets, laptops, smartphones and e-readers on planes - has forced airlines to re-think. Should they continue to invest heavily into Inflight Entertainment (IFE) systems, or just concentrate on offering Wi-Fi and power in the cabin? The goal of this research was to define the IFE offer of the future. Four barriers that split the world into the three regions Europe, Asia and USA in terms of IFE development were identified: the cultural, the commercial, the technological and the legal barrier. This book focuses on Europe, which lags mostly behind with IFE out of these three regions. For example, as opposed to the US, no major European airline offers inflight Wi-Fi widely on its network, and in contrast to leading Middle Eastern airlines none offers inflight live TV or the usage of mobile phones without restriction, like on the ground. The target was to define IFE from a consumer perspective. To capture the latter the author evaluated consumer satisfaction methodologies and decided to go with the Kano approach, which categorizes alternatives of a product or service, in this case IFE, in must-be, attractive and indifferent elements. A representative online survey revealed movies and power to be must-be, TV and Wi-Fi to be attractive and the rest, e-books, music, games and duty free onboard, to be indifferent elements of IFE. The majority of people indicated that they would pay for movies and Wi-Fi but not for power supply, TV or other content. Differently said, content-wise passengers only insisted in the supply of movies, for the rest they expected the airline to provide Internet and power so they themselves could get the content. Further, sub-groups were analysed - people within the sample with mutual characteristics like gender, travel frequency or ownership of smart devices. So was music on a plane a must for women and owners of iPhones were more willing to pay for apps than others. Overall, country of residence, travel purpose (leisure or business) and flight duration (long vs. short haul) were the greatest dividers re IFE requirements.