KLM starts the experiment with WiFi onboard for entertainment
SCHIPHOL – KLM will conduct various exams in January flow on aboard of the plane. These are long-haul flights with Boeing 787 aircraft, where all passengers can watch movies, music and series via WiFi. That reports the telegraph.
On test flights, all passengers will have access to Wi-Fi and the results of different groups, such as business class passengers and frequent flyers, will be checked.
For example, KLM wants to gain insight into how useful it is and what group size is “working”. Each aircraft has a receiver, called a wireless access point, with which the aircraft communicates with the satellite.
It is not completely flawless yet. Airlines have been looking for solutions for years. WiFi costs a lot, says Boet Kreiken, director of customer experience at Telegraaf, which means paying extra for in-flight internet appears to be the only solution.
“Of course the customer wants everything for free, but WiFi costs millions to install and maintain. Some airlines show ads, but that’s not our preference. We’re still looking at how to solve that. Testing is part of that.”
“Testing is free,” says Kreiken, “but the question is: What will customers be willing to pay for and under what terms?” For example, frequent flyers can get free Wi-Fi or business class customers.
It was previously thought that in-flight broadcasting could replace movies and series shown on the plane. The sector has now largely abandoned this idea.
KLM will continue to provide in-flight entertainment, the manager says. The screens in the seats are often larger than the screens of the passenger’s devices. It’s convenient, because you can eat while watching, for example. We assume that passengers will soon be able to display their own movies on the screen in the seat in front of them via Bluetooth. This is part of more options on board.”
Starting this month, travelers will be able to send free messages during the entire flight on all WiFi-equipped intercontinental and European aircraft. Until now, this was only possible for an hour on a KLM flight. “It’s part of the modern world that we provide as a service along the journey. We expect customers to also opt for more paid services like paid Wi-Fi,” says Kreiken.
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