Latin Americans are the world's biggest fans of inflight Wi-Fi, with many prepared to give up other onboard services like food and alcoholic drinks to have Wi-Fi access, according to a new study from satellite operator Inmarsat.
Some 94% of Latin American passengers said they would use Wi-Fi onboard if it were available on their next flight, according to
The biggest fans were Chileans (86%), Mexicans (83%), Colombians (82%), Brazilians (81%) and Argentines (77%).
Among those most likely to use in-flight Wi-Fi are business passengers, passengers that travel with children and young people between the ages of 18 and 30.
Some 84% of business travelers connect in order to continue working, while 56% said they would use Wi-Fi to keep in contact with friends and family on the ground.
MORE IMPORTANT THAN BEER
Inmarsat's 2018 Inflight Connectivity Survey showed that 60% of Latin American passengers would be prepared to sacrifice food in order to have Wi-Fi.
"The desire to remain connected onboard is particularly evident amongst Latin American passengers. This year's survey showed that nine of out of 10 Latin American passengers would use Wi-Fi onboard if it were available on their next flight, which is the highest level worldwide," Raymundo Villar, Latin American director of Inmarsat Aviation, said in a statement.
The study also found that 69% of Latin American airline passengers believe that Wi-Fi onboard is an essential part of the inflight experience and strengthens customer loyalty.
Some 86% of Mexicans said they are more likely to book or re-book with an airline due to availability of Wi-Fi, followed by Colombians (81%) and Brazilians (81%).
That said, quality is important and more than half of interviewees would rather not have Wi-Fi at all if only a poor quality connection is available.
In fact, Wi-Fi is considered the third most important factor for the Latin American passenger when reserving a flight after the airline's reputation and free checked luggage.
The study was carried out by Populus, which interviewed 9,341 adults between April 18 - May 14, 2018 in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.
Inmarsat will begin rolling out its passenger connectivity solutions this year, Villar told BNamericas in 2017.
Inmarsat - which partners with vendors such as Rockwell Collins and SITAOnAir - was hired by Colombian airline Avianca last year to deploy Wi-Fi on 125 planes