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How Inflight Entertainment influences passengers in their travel decision-making

Bord entertainment plays a significant role in travel planning: it is among the top three criteria for selecting an airline.

"The traditional model of in-flight entertainment is outdated," says Dr. Philipp Bensel, Partner and aviation expert at Kearney. "Viewing and consumption habits have changed dramatically, and personalized and always available offerings are becoming increasingly important. However, airlines have not yet been able to adequately adapt to these new requirements."

A new study by consulting firm Kearney on Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) analysed the needs of passengers and the untapped potential for airlines, media and technology companies, and passengers. The study surveyed more than 3,000 individuals from eight countries, including Germany.

The onboard entertainment offering is crucial in selecting an airline: Over 80 percent of German respondents consider IFEC to be an important or very important factor when choosing a long-haul flight. Nearly half of them would switch to another airline if they were dissatisfied with the onboard entertainment. Almost twice as many long-haul passengers aged 18 to 35 prefer to use their own content and devices rather than the onboard system's content.

More than half of those aged 18 to 35 and almost one-third of those over 35 would be willing to pay for better Wi-Fi on flights lasting more than three hours. 87 percent have no objections to relevant product advertisements.

The study's findings serve as a starting point for the authors to analyse new possibilities: Film studios could directly license their content to airlines. Streaming providers could offer passengers access to their platforms for the entire duration of the journey (including travel to and from the airport), thus attracting new subscribers. For passengers, this would mean a more diverse and seamless entertainment experience that can be continued on the plane, as well as more technical capabilities (such as mirroring their own mobile phone screens on the seat display).

Airlines could enter into new partnerships. The more providers compete for cooperation, the lower the costs would be. This would enable investments in better in-flight broadband services, which, in turn, could be financed by advertising revenue from streaming service partners. "By entering into such commercial partnerships, airlines not only improve the onboard customer experience, but they can also collect content and advertising data that is relevant to them," says Bensel.

This article is from the 2/2023 issue of the magazine "Life Abroad".

The magazine is published four times a year free of charge with many informative articles on foreign topics.

It is published by the BDAE, the expert for protection abroad.