Joe Sharkey’s column in today’s NY Times discusses how Wi-Fi is going to be huge on airplanes, despite current evidence showing usage rates below 10%. The basis for the counter-intuitive finding? A survey (or “survey”) conducted by the Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry trade group. You’ll be shocked to hear that:
About three quarters (76 percent) said they would choose an airline based on Wi-Fi availability. More than half (55 percent) said they would shift a flight by one day to get on a plane with a Wi-Fi connection…Half of the business travelers said they sometimes took a red-eye flight because flying during the day, without an Internet connection, rendered them unreachable during business hours.
76% would choose an airline based on Wi-Fi availability? Really? 10% of passengers use wi-fi, but 76% said they’d choose the airline based on whether they had it. Hm…
I’m quite disappointed that the NY Times would print the results of a self-serving trade group “survey” as news — they should certainly know better.
I worked for a short time for a direct marketing firm (ie, “junk mailer”) and I remember seeing this beauty of a “survey” from Pitney Bowes that basically found that 3x as many people preferred receiving junk mail from companies than emails from companies. Bring on the junk mail!
You can get a survey to tell you anything you want, and perhaps an industry publication will print it. But when the NY Times is passing off fake surveys as news, something is wrong.