A recent survey completed by Business Travel News has found that only 34% of 230 companies polled are willing to reimburse employees for in-flight internet access on domestic flights. While the percentage of companies willing to pay for internet access on international flights increases slightly to 41%, most employers view in-flight internet access as unnecessary and too costly.
Many business travelers argue that the ability to stay online during long flights will make their hours onboard more productive. These road warriors will able to stay up-to-date on emails and not be backed up with a full inbox upon landing. Despite this potential increase in employee production, however, companies remain cautious about paying for the service. Reasons behind their hesitancy include the purportedly disproportionate quality of the internet access to its price tag.
A second reason some companies are against their employees being “plugged in” while flying is because flights are one of the few opportunities for these business oriented travelers to mentally and physically unwind and refresh. These companies see their employees’ ability to take advantage of a break by remaining “off-line” and be revitalized for their meetings or work in each destination as a greater value than time spend on-board keeping up with email.