Survey: Airport Wi-Fi More Important Than Food

For the business traveler (and the traveler in general, really), Wi-Fi is important -- crucial, even. But more important than sustenance? That's exactly what was found in a recent survey by American Airlines and HP, where some 47% of business travelers responded that Wi-Fi was the "most important airport amenity, outscoring basic travels needs such as food by nearly 30 percentage points."

The online study gathered results from 1,500 frequent travelers who log more than 20 trips a year on three or more airlines, and it also found that the largest complaint wasn't delayed flights, cramped areas, endless fees or the lack of an AC outlet in coach -- no, it was dead PC batteries. Yes, dead batteries, a problem that can absolutely be solved by simply buying a spare before the trip commences.  Approximately 67% of frequent flyers say dead batteries (41.4%) and no available power outlets (26.3%) are the biggest problems. In addition, 90% of frequent flyers surveyed hit the road with either a notebook computer and/or a cell phone with them.

The survey also found that work efficiency drops dramatically while in the air, undoubtedly tied to the general unavailability of Wi-Fi in the skies. Of course, certain airlines are doing their best to change that, but largely, the major legacy carriers have been slow in adopting and implementing the technology. Comically enough, American Airlines purports to be taking this news to heart and helping out, but it's far and away one of the worst airlines to travel on if looking for ample connectivity at the gate and in the sky. Who knows, maybe the tide is turning, but we've still got quite awhile before Internet on the airplane is the rule and not the exception.