KLM begins trial with on-board WiFi for entertainment
SCHIPHOL – KLM will perform various tests in January streaming in the plane. These are long-distance flights with Boeing 787s, where all travelers can watch movies, music and series via WiFi. That’s what the Telegraph reports.
During the test flights, all passengers will have access to Wi-Fi and the results of various groups, such as business class passengers and frequent flyers, will be reviewed.
For example, KLM wants insight into how it is used and what group size “works”. Each aircraft has a receiver, called a wireless access point, with which the aircraft communicates with the satellite.
It’s not quite flawless yet. Airlines have been looking for solutions for years. Customer experience director Boet Kreiken says in the Telegraaf that WiFi is expensive, meaning paying extra for internet on board seems like the only solution.
“Of course, the customer wants everything for free, but installing and maintaining Wi-Fi costs millions. Some airlines run advertisements, but this is not our preference. We are still investigating how to resolve this issue. The test is part of it.
“The test is free, but the question is: how much will customers be willing to pay and under what conditions?” says Kreiken. For example, frequent flyers might benefit from free Wi-Fi or business class customers.
It was previously thought that streaming during the flight could eventually replace the films and series that are offered on board. The sector has now largely abandoned this idea.
KLM will continue to offer inflight entertainment, says the director. “The screens in the seats are often larger than those in the traveler’s devices. It’s comfortable, because you can eat while you watch, for example. We suspect travelers will soon be able to show their own movies on the screen in the seat in front of them via Bluetooth. It’s part of a bigger choice on board.
From this month, travelers will be able to send free messages throughout the trip on board all intercontinental aircraft and European aircraft equipped with WiFi. Until now, this was only possible for one hour on a KLM flight. “It’s part of the modern world that we offer this as a service throughout the flight. We expect customers to upgrade to more paid services, such as paid Wi-Fi,” says Kreiken.
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