Wi-fi In The Sky

SIA wifi

THINGS are looking up for the aviation industry and Singapore Airlines.

The airline is taking advantage of the release of pent-up frustration from the pandemic travel restrictions, and cranking up the travel options.

Ticket prices are ascending fast, like the flights, and travellers are snapping them up, regardless of the cost. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects overall traveller numbers to surpass pre-pandemic numbers, reaching 4.0 billion in 2024.

And anyone thinking the revenge travel will taper off, and things will return to normal, well, travellers are not reading from that script.

No Longer A Great Way?

And to keep the momentum going, SIA has launched a stylish global brand campaign that picks up on travellers’ pain points. Where it used to be a “great way to fly”, it’s now “world class”.

One “world class” ad is about landing in an alien culture, another about being far from home. Not that the airline can do anything to solve these issues directly. But by presenting the appropriate visuals — a stewardess sitting on the top of a van in her kebaya or dancing with strangers — it may just result in you buying an expensive ticket!

Free Wi-fi

And to pile on further incentives, SIA is offering complimentary unlimited in-flight wi-fi for Suites, First Class, Business Class passengers and PPS Club members. Economy and Premium Economy class passengers get limited hours of free wi-fi, after which they can purchase it by the hour — US$3.99 per hour up to $15.99 for the full flight.

It used to be that the sky was the safe haven for the harried traveller who used the heavens as a quiet space to unplug and escape the clutches of terra firma.

Well, that’s no longer the case. You can be tracked and contacted up in the sky, now.

For now, it’s not going to be the super-fast internet you get on the ground, probably enough to check your emails and maybe scroll through your feeds.

Airline wi-fi has been available since well before the pandemic, drawing the signal from ground-based systems and satellites.

Since the pandemic, the intensity has cranked up for device-dependent  living.

Most people can’t live without their thumbs scrolling; they probably do it in their sleep.

Technology is keeping track of that, and it may not be too long before you’ll be able to make conference calls and broker deals via video 12km in the sky. That’ll just mean heightened aggravation for those seeking solitude or an escape from these digital clutches.

When that happens, you’ll probably have creative airline marketers carving out a new segment.

Would you like to pay a premium to have a seat in the No-devices zone?

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