I’ve had so many more ideas since my first quick blog about the implications of internet access onboard planes that I thought I’d brainstorm some more. The passenger who was previously disconnected from the world has a lot of people that they’d like to communicate with:
Airlines can communicate to passengers:
If you’re connecting with another flight, you could get real-time info on delays, gate changes, cancellations. You can learn about loyalty programs, credit cards and flight specials.
Airports can communicate to passengers:
How long is the customs line if you’re flying international? What is the weather like when I land? What do I need to know about the airport and ground transportation when I get there.
Hotels and tour operators can communicate to passengers:
People are already booking travel later and later. Wifi on planes could amplify this. I booked a flight for the biggest conference of the year in our industry just a matter of days prior. I could be looking for the best rate on a hotel on the plane. I could also be looking for things to do when I arrive.
Family can communicate to passengers:
Passengers could pass on information about flight delays. Family can also pass on pertinent information: “I’m running late to pick you up, the traffic is terrible. Do you want to catch the train instead?” Being disconnect can be concerning but we’re not cut off anymore: “I took little Johny to the doctor and he is feeling better.”
Passengers can communicate to the airline:
Airline PR departments take note. Complaints will be coming in real time. Passengers can give feedback about staff, about quality, about consistent delays and shoddy practices. We’ve already seen the ramifications from one little youtube video about United Airlines. Now this can happen in real-time.
Destinations and services can communicate to passengers:
For the last minute traveler, the destination that they are travelling to can promote things to do while they’re on the way. The trend towards last-minute booking will only increase. Imagine the special offers last-minute, customized by interest and season.
Passengers can communicate to work:
Passengers can now be more productive. When I’m on a plane now, I’m as good as in the office. Same goes for students. If I don’t have anything pressing, I have access to the largest entertainment system in the world. In-flight entertainment just became redundant, especially the ones you have to pay for.
All of this increased access to communication saves people time, makes us more efficient and will ultimately save the consumer money. I’m sure there’s lots more that I haven’t thought of.
Can you think of more implications?