Passengers flying for business are looking for maximum seat comfort and Wi-Fi but they couldn’t care less about in-flight comfort kits.
A new online poll released by Australian business travel specialist Corporate Traveller reveals that seat comfort and access to Wi-Fi are the two most important in-flight amenities for Australian business travellers.
In-flight comfort kits along with onboard reading materials were the bottom of the list of products offered by airlines according to the study.
The poll asked respondents ‘which in-flight item is most important to you when travelling for business?’.
Participants were given eight options to choose from including access to Wi-Fi, entertainment, food and beverage service, friendly cabin crew, cabin seat comfort, comfort kits, luggage allowance and reading materials.
Seat comfort, which scored 51 per cent of the votes, was the most important aspect for business travellers.
Travellers scored the following inflight offerings as follows:
- Cabin seat comfort - 51%
- Access to inflight Wi-Fi - 22%
- Food and beverage services - 9%
- In-flight entertainment standards - 6%
- Friendly cabin crew - 5%
- Luggage allowance - 4%
- Reading materials - 2%
- In-flight comfort kits - 1%
Corporate Traveller national marketing manager Chris Preston said the results indicated that air travel for corporate customers was about getting from A to B quickly, comfortably and with aspects of the flight that helped them get on with their tasks as soon as they touched down.
“Business travellers have rated most highly the three items that are going to help them focus on their core tasks as soon as they land,” he said.
“If they need to catch up on sleep to arrive fresh, they want a comfortable seat, if they’re keen to work while they’re in the air, access to Wi-Fi is a priority and if they need to refuel they’ll want a quality meal.
"Businesses should consider the type of airfare their travellers are booking if these kinds of issues are affecting the overall value and outcome of staff travel."
Getting a comfortable seat on a flight is the easy part. Access to inflight internet on flights out of Australia remains a sore point for travellers. Put simply, it doesn't exist yet.
Although Qantas A380s have inflight Wi-Fi, they don't yet have a link to the internet from the plane.
The flag carrier recently sent out a survey to passengers on how much they'd pay for inflight internet, indicating that the airline might be advancing its plans for introducing it.
Singapore Airlines said it was aiming to introduce inflight internet on some of its aircraft by May this year, but has been quiet on the matter since then, after apparently missing its deadline.
Lufthansa has inflight internet available on many of its international routes, but doesn't fly out of Australia, so travellers still have to fly to a connecting hub like Singapore to meet a Lufthansa flight with onboard internet.