Unlocking Opportunities for Inflight Connectivity
Nick Hauan, Product Manager, Commercial Aviation
As demand for inflight Wi-Fi soars, airlines face the challenge of balancing passenger expectations with financial realities.
While purchasing inflight Wi-Fi is still a choice, more airlines are moving to a free service model. By cultivating partnerships with companies outside of the aviation industry, such as credit card companies or telecommunications providers, airlines can offset connectivity costs, increase their take rate, and set themselves apart from competitors. Most notably, these sponsored services allow airlines to offset the cost of free Wi-Fi or provide special inflight promotions linked to credit cards or loyalty programs. These offers are generally based on a qualifier such as loyalty status or watching an advertisement. With myriad flexible and dynamic options tailored to suit each airline’s unique goals, Intelsat’s Sponsored Services offer new ways to enhance the inflight experience.
Easily Connect Passengers through Airline or Partner App
Sponsored services are not a new concept, but Intelsat’s technological advancements make deploying them easier than ever. Airlines can now seamlessly integrate these capabilities into their own mobile applications, allowing control of the user experience and development timelines and providing an easy validation process for passengers.
Passengers can conveniently access inflight Wi-Fi directly within the apps they are already familiar with, side-stepping cumbersome login procedures and ensuring a hassle-free experience. In some cases, service can be granted automatically as passengers board the plane. This approach reduces friction and opens opportunities for airlines and partners to deliver personalized content, targeted advertisements, and relevant information directly to passengers’ devices.
Reward Members with Inflight Connectivity
Airlines recognize the value of rewarding loyal flyers, and sponsored services provide a unique opportunity to extend these benefits into the cabin. By incorporating free Wi-Fi or the ability to buy a pass with miles or points, as a benefit for loyalty program members, airlines personalize the experience and increase customer loyalty through a sense of recognition and exclusivity. This approach reinforces an airline’s commitment to its most valuable customers while enticing new members to join the loyalty program.
Elevate the Passenger Experience with Surprising Offers, Discounts, and More
Beyond free Wi-Fi, Intelsat Sponsored Services enable airlines to surprise and delight passengers. Special promotions, discounts, and access to premium services can enhance the overall customer experience. For instance, a passenger who connects to the onboard Wi-Fi might receive personalized offers for inflight duty-free shopping, exclusive access to onboard entertainment, or even discounted rates for future flights. These value-added experiences create memorable moments while fostering positive brand associations. Embracing sponsored services drives customer satisfaction and loyalty and helps position airlines as leaders in innovation and customer-centricity.
Hear how Intelsat is bringing their customers together to form mutually beneficial partnerships.