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Travelers Choose WiFi Over Food on Planes

Over the last year a several airlines have either rolled out (or announced plans to roll out) in-flight WiFi for domestic flights in the United States. Most have embraced the news, glad that they can send emails, talk to friends online and browse the web to help pass the hours in the air. However, what’s more surprising is that, despite it not being a standard on all flights, this amenity is already valued more than in-flight food.

According to a survey conducted by American Airlines and Hewlett Packard, almost half of passengers ranked WiFi as more important than food while traveling. The survey spanned more than 1,500 frequent business travelers (frequent in that they take more than twenty trips a year on three or more airlines). Maximum PC reports that just over 47 percent of people said WiFi was the most important, besting their desire for food by almost 30 percentage points. The group cited the lack of electrical outlets as the most annoying thing on a flight, with 24 percent putting it as the most important thing on a flight.

When you take a step back, it’s not exactly shocking news. Airline food sucks and whatever the speed of the WiFi, you can’t bring your own internet. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t bring some kind of food on the plane with me when I traveled. Which would you guys rank as most important? The WiFi or the food? I have to say, I quite like not having the WiFi because it means I’m not contactable for a few hours, which is a nice change from the usual constant stream of emails. However, I would gladly give up the chow if I was guaranteed an outlet to plug into. Feel free to let us know what else bugs you most about flying. The lack of leg room, the absence of electrical outlets, the crappy food or the obligatory crying kid?

  • I happen to take 3-4 short flights within Europe (GVA-ZRH-PRG) every week and I have to say that for flights under an hour, taking a laptop out is not even worth the effort for a few mins of serious work (even when using X300 with SSD).

    Flying is good for reading and eating (even with the lousy sandwitches they serve). The wifi connectivity is fine at the aiport launges.
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  • ik242
    forget the food, WiFi, and even crying kid. all of this is forgotten as soon as you step out of the plane. i'd be way more happier with more space - specially leg room. next choice is AC outlet, followed but WiFi. WiFi without extra leg room is not much since laptop needs some room too (not 6" from my face).
    Reply
  • ik242
    forget the food, WiFi, and even crying kid. all of this is forgotten as soon as you step out of the plane. i'd be way more happier with more space - specially leg room. next choice is AC outlet, followed but WiFi. WiFi without extra leg room is not much since laptop needs some room too (not 6" from my face).
    Reply
  • cablechewer
    I would say it depends on the length of the flight. Short flights of
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  • cablechewer
    Grrr. Last post got cut short by careless symbol use.

    I would say it depends on the length of the flight. Short flights of less than 3 hours I don't care about the food. I would happily take an electrical outlet for my laptop (or other electronic device) over food on those shorter flights.

    International flights however are a different matter (especially if they cross an ocean). No way I am sitting on a plane for that long without a meal (even if it is airline food).

    Regardless of flight duration I at least want to be offered a bit of water to drink.

    Hmmm, I wonder how long it will be before airlines are required to provide straps or other restraints for laptops and other devices to keep them from sailing across the cabin in the event of severe turbulence or other problems...

    Reply
  • Pei-chen
    Airline food is actually better than the food you bought because at high attitude, it is your test bud that fail and not the airline food. Your delicious Subway sub is going to test like soggy cardboard while the specially prepared airline food will test like regular food.
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  • grieve
    ill take Beer/Vodka over Wifi thanks, as i only fly on vacation....
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  • JMcEntegart
    Pei-chenAirline food is actually better than the food you bought because at high attitude, it is your test bud that fail and not the airline food. Your delicious Subway sub is going to test like soggy cardboard while the specially prepared airline food will test like regular food.
    Who do you fly with? I want airline food that doesn't taste like two day old cud.
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  • Avenger762
    I would rank them as 1.Outlets, 2. Wi-fi, and 3. If i need it to survive-airline food.
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  • dman3k
    Considering what they usually call food on planes in domestic flights across America, I'll take my Wi-Fi... International flights, however, I'll take the food.
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