The great advances in airplane Internet connections are being driven far more by the opportunities that high-speed broadband service presents for airlines themselves to essentially sell more things to the customers, whether the product is in-flight entertainment, food and drink, customized services to elite-status passengers or products at the destination, including hotel packages, sports and concert tickets, restaurant and theater reservations. On an airplane, you have a captive market, and with sophisticated technology, you can sell to passengers in very personal ways.
And, of course, flight attendants will be expected to become even more adept at using in-flight technology. The question is whether they will embrace the moment.
“We found consistently in our research, whether the markets were the U.S., Europe or Asia, that flight attendants are typically the least automated group within the airline work force,” said Andrew Kemmetmueller, the chief executive of Allegiant Systems, a technology development company that focuses on airline operations.