Some of you may be aware that I was one of the "Charter Subscribers" to the first public access Internet Service Provider in 1986... CompuServe. Well, today i get to claim being the first ADM Professional posting an online Forum Discussion while at crusing altitude aboard a commercial flight. Yup, I happened to get on what is supposedly the ONLY commercial aircraft currently operating in US skies that has been authorized by the FAA to provide WiFi Internet access to passengers during flight... Apparently, it is an pilot program that Southwest is testing to see if passengers actually use it during flight time... For Rapid Rewards members, it is free, you just enter your SWA account number and log in...
I would like to hear the opinions of ADM members as to the pros and cons of airlines providing internet access during flights... For example, what will that do to my beloved Geotargeting of online advertising for car dealers????? How will Google geotarget their search advertising placed through Adwords? Does it really matter at all?????
In regards to that last question, think about how many people are on commercial flights every day... Over 2,000,000 Americans are in the air during business hours on any given week day... That number surges to over 5,000,000 on heavy travel days, such as the day before Thanksgiving.
Now, let's talk about the demographics of who will be using in-flight Internet access... In 2006 my team sold over 4,000 new and used vehicles out of the total of over 11,000 vehicles sold that year by Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix. When the Finance Director pulled reports on aggregate Beacon scores, the vehicles sold by the eBusiness Team were sold to customers with an average credit score over 100 points higher than non-Internet originated deals... What would leads from in-flight Internet users look like?
Anyways... Would love to hear from anyone who wants to comment on this major development in online access by Americans, and the potential car buyers that may be in the air using the Internet as this feature is rolled out on all major airlines, that want to stay in business!
Because, if I have a choice, i am going to select the airline that gives me in-flight Internet access, even if the airfare is higher... Productivity is worth a lot of money!
Southwest Airlines is evaluating Wi-Fi internet access onboard four aircraft now through March. With this innovation, we are giving Customers with Wi-Fi enabled devices the freedom to be more productive and to stay entertained while they fly with full access to the Internet, including e-mail, music, shopping, and virtual private networks (VPN).
Internet access will be free during this evaluation period. We will be surveying Customers throughout the evaluation to get input on various aspects of the product and help us determine whether to equip the rest of our fleet with this cutting-edge technology. So if you are on one of our Wi-Fi planes, we'll be asking for your feedback!