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How Wi-Fi Impacts the Traveler Experience

Airline and hotel connectivity is fundamental to today’s travelers, and many people decide how they'll fly or where they'll stay based on Wi-Fi access.

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Reliable wireless connectivity ensures that the hospitality industry delivers the level of service customers now demand. In particular, the hotel and travel sectors are tasked with providing seamless digital experiences. Otherwise, they risk poor customer satisfaction and negative impacts on the bottom line. 

Airline, airport, and hotel connectivity are critical to maintaining positive customer experiences and optimal satisfaction. And network managers must ensure this consistent performance, often in high-density coverage environments

How much does Wi-Fi matter to travelers?

According to “The Growing Importance of Wi-Fi in Hotels” report from Motorola Solutions and IDG Connect, 73% of hotels believe having free Wi-Fi increases bookings, and 84% think that having a reputation for good wireless service impacts how many new and repeat customers they get.

90% of business travelers want access to Wi-Fi in their rooms, and a third say not having it is a deal breaker when considering where they stay. The report also reveals that a lack of connection is business travelers’ biggest stress factor — even more frustrating than noise or a challenging transportation experience.

Travelers now see Wi-Fi as an essential part of daily life. 78% of respondents to another survey said that access is fundamental, with 55% of airline passengers describing in-flight Wi-Fi as crucial. In addition, 67% reported that they’d be more likely to rebook with an airline if it offered high-quality connections. In fact, passengers worldwide ranked Wi-Fi as the fourth most important consideration when choosing a company to fly with, a factor that was only beaten by airline reputation, free baggage, and leg room.

Why Wi-Fi is essential to the traveler experience

This customer demand exists because of the overwhelming dependence on connectivity anywhere and everywhere. Beyond business users on laptops waiting in a hotel lobby or airport gate, people now always have mobile devices on them, and they expect to be able to check email, send messages, stream videos, and view documents. 

In addition, they want to do it without relying on their phone service, which may have limited data or slower loading times than high-speed internet.

Consistent network performance also has other applications that directly contribute to the customer experience offered by hotels and airports. Customers are more satisfied with their experience when they can take advantage of perks like remote hotel check-in, mobile boarding pass scanning in airports, kiosk services, and mobile or remote concierge services.

Offering a seamless, strong connection allows people to conduct a variety of tasks digitally, which can speed up and simplify the otherwise stressful travel process.

How to improve the traveler experience with Wi-Fi in high-density environments

Hospitality and travel organizations aiming to meet digital demands require greater emphasis on network security, Wi-Fi design and planning, network budgeting, and more. Here are some strategies to help improve the user experience:

1. Consider what people are using Wi-Fi for

Identify the audience your organization serves. For example, if you are largely dealing with business travelers, think through the types of tasks they’re performing online while in your spaces. They may need faster, better Wi-Fi to conduct VoIP calls, upload and download files, or stream videos. Factor in these common Wi-Fi uses, device types, and a high-density environment when planning Wi-Fi site design, roaming and bandwidth requirements, and more.

2. Improve any captive portals

It's typical for hotels, airlines, and restaurants to gate guest Wi-Fi networks with a captive portal. This is the window that comes up on a user device when someone connects to a network, where they agree to follow specific terms and conditions while using the Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, these captive portals can often be clunky and glitchy, which leads to customer frustration. 

Best practices like keeping up with browser updates, monitoring the connectivity requirements of applications, and regular testing help improve how travelers experience captive portals.

3. Constantly monitor the Wi-Fi experience

Keeping tabs on how users are experiencing your Wi-Fi at all times ensures you can solve problems before they cause frustration or even get noticed. This visibility requires a quality wireless experience monitoring platform that provides continuous access to network metrics. By being able to pinpoint the root causes of issues, you’ll limit network downtime, maintain performance, and determine effective solutions to any problems.

Partner with 7SIGNAL for a better guest and customer experience

7SIGNAL’s cloud-based monitoring platforms deliver meaningful and actionable insights into Wi-Fi performance. Our Mobile Eye® and Sapphire Eye® report on over 600+ KPIs that show you exactly how devices experience connections and what causes any issues.

Mobile Eye can be installed on your employees' mobile devices and show how they experience any network they’re connected to, so you can keep operations moving. 

Sapphire Eye sensors are deployed onsite to gain visibility into WLAN performance. With the Sapphire Eye, you know precisely how travelers and guests experience Wi-Fi, and you can quickly address any concerns to improve their digital customer experiences. 

Contact 7SIGNAL today to learn more about our Wi-Fi monitoring solutions.

7SIGNAL® is the leader in wireless experience monitoring, providing insight into wireless networks and control over Wi-Fi performance so businesses and organizations can thrive. Our cloud-based wireless network monitoring platform continually tests and measures Wi-Fi performance at the edges of the network, enabling fast solutions to digital experience issues and stronger connections for mission-critical users, devices, and applications. Learn more at www.7signal.com.