Addressing the Challenges of In-Flight Connectivity. Looking at the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) Report

by | Oct 13, 2022 | Airlines, Digital Transformation, Travel Tech

Addressing the Challenges of In-Flight Connectivity. Looking at the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) Report


Yesterday, on 12th October 2022, the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) published “In-Flight Wi-Fi Connectivity. Improving Passenger Experience, Engagement, and Uptake.” The full WBA report can be downloaded here.

In-flight connectivity was discussed by Norman Haughton, Director of IFEC Product and Analytics at Air Canada at last week’s World Aviation Festival. Haughton explained that the true value of in-flight connectivity was delivering a high quality passenger experience to drive loyalty through customer satisfaction.

As more airlines offer in-flight connectivity to enhance their passenger experience, the ease and success with which passengers are able to connect provides a key point of differentiation. The WBA report highlights some of the main challenges to providing in-flight internet access.


The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA)

The WBA is the global organisation that connects people with the latest Wi-Fi initiatives. It aims to “drive seamless, interoperable service experiences via Wi-Fi within the global wireless ecosystem.” The alliance is composed of major operators, identity providers, and leading tech companies across the Wi-Fi ecosystem.



The report clearly lays out some of the significant challenges for providing in-flight connectivity to passengers.

  • Passenger sensitivity to price
  • Passenger difficulties with conceptualising how much internet will be required eg. a passenger may not know how many megabytes would be required for their level of internet consumption
  • Coverage issues relating to regulatory challenges
  • A lack of awareness that in-flight connectivity is an option
  • Availability on airport taxiways – these are not prioritized for high-speed coverage
  • Passengers are unfamiliar with the process of connecting to the correct SSID
  • High dropout rates in navigating the set-up process
  • Lack of uniformity of experience across fleets
  • A variety in ages of devices connecting fostering inconsistency

As in-flight connectivity becomes more common these are areas must be addressed in order to maximise passenger take-up. Through addressing these challenges early on, airlines can simplify and amplify passenger experience with in-flight connectivity, ultimately building loyalty and customer satisfaction.

For more information regarding in-flight connectivity as an opportunity for loyalty building read here.


Article by Jess Brownlow