They’re In! 2012 Airline Passenger Survey Results


IFExpress contacted digEcor last week to get a copy of their annual passenger survey which seems to track the trends in inflight entertainment and connectivity we have come to know and love so well. Now in its third year of publication, the 2012 survey of airline passengers that hail from around the globe queried everything from road warriors to once-a-year casual fliers… and everyone in between. The study/report provides relevant and up-to-date information for free to our industry and you might want to get your own copy. With multiple years of data presented, the results compared over three years show a number of intriguing industry trends that will help airlines make better strategic decisions about their IFE&C programs, not to mention the IFE managers who must decide hardware and software solutions.

“Information is key to making sound strategic decisions in any industry and more so when it comes to the fast pace of technology,” said digEcor Director of Sales & Marketing Ben Fuller. “As the IFE landscape changes, particularly with respect to tablets and other passenger owned devices being brought onboard, we’ve found that there’s no better way to move forward and stay current and relevant in the IFE industry than to go straight to our end-user and find out exactly what they want.”

He also noted, “Trends to watch, as shown in the survey,” continued Fuller, “include increased or decreased relevance of IFE system features, who is bringing what device onboard and how are they using them, not to mention if offering Wi-Fi onboard really affects airline ticket selection. One interesting result that has remained constant over the three years of research that we’ve conducted, and that is commonly ignored, is that passengers don’t always prefer early window or new release movies over popular classic titles.”

For sometime now, IFExpress has wondered just how important those first run titles are and digEcor might be on to something here. One guess might be in the grey area that says – Any video/movie is better than no video on a flight, and first run movies are preferred over any video. So the question is: Where does watching preference fit in the scheme of things like ticket price, destination routing, airline preference, schedule, and seat selection – especially if the freely provided entertainment is not announced prior to ticket purchase. There is a value expectation when traveling in First or Business classes, but for the rest of us… forget it. Honestly, the IFExpress team never considers inflight programming in the ticket decision-making process, never. If we want a specific flight video solution, we bring it on our iPhone or iPad and we think a lot of our readers do as well!

The 38 page 2012 Passenger Survey Report is available as a free download at

digEcor provides the aerospace industry a low cost, turnkey in-flight entertainment solution by specializing in content sourcing and management, personal media platforms (PMPs), and end-to-end programs. With years of experience, digEcor focuses on increasing traveler satisfaction, creating easily executed solutions, and generating revenue opportunities for clients. Founded in 2000, digEcor is based in Springville, Utah, with additional offices in Seattle, Amsterdam, and Toulouse, France. For more information, visit or call 1-801-489-2022.

On another note, one of the connectivity industry’s best know and loved characters has quietly slipped into retirement. While we congratulate Inmarsat’s Dick Smith, we really wish we had a chance to wish him well. You can say goodbye at and we will do so publicly – “Dick, you will be missed!” Patricia & Terry

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