Study: Most Business Travelers Don't Need Wi-Fi On Planes

In the span of only a few weeks, JetBlue, Alaska Air, American Airlines and now, Southwest have all announced plans to begin testing Wi-Fi service on select flights. But according to data from a new Orbitz for Business Corporate Traveler Survey, a majority of business travelers don't feel the need or desire to be connected at 30,000 feet.

When asked if they would take a less convenient or more costly flight to get Wi-Fi access, 56% of business travelers said it was not a necessity. Some 36% said that they would try to get a flight with Wi-Fi available, but wouldn't be bothered if it weren't. Meanwhile, just 8% said that wireless Web access is very important--and would pay more or take a less convenient flight to have it.

Orbitz for Business surveyed nearly 650 adults ages 18-65 who had traveled for business within the past year, using a MarketTools online panel. San Francisco-based MarketTools is a market research firm that directly manages a nationally representative online panel of more than 2.5 million individuals.

Orbitz for Business also questions business travelers about how they would use Wi-Fi on flights if it were available. While 21% claimed that they would use it solely for business, the majority (59%) said that they would use the serviced equally both for business and pleasure. And the remaining 20% said that they would use the wireless Web access for pleasure only.

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