Free Wi-Fi trumps sleep for SA travellers - TechCentral

Free Wi-Fi trumps sleep for SA travellers


A comprehensive survey of South African travellers has revealed that free Wi-Fi at airports is more important to them than a comfortable place to take a nap while waiting for a delayed flight.

The survey, of more than 6 000 people, was conducted by flight booking website It asked participants what features could be added to South Africa’s airports to improve the lives of air commuters. Suggested options included sleeping areas as well as health, wellness and grooming facilities such as gyms and a spas.

Internet access eclipsed the other choices on offer, with an overwhelming 65% of respondents saying that free Wi-Fi should be a mandatory service available in South African airports.

According to Travelstart, all Acsa-managed airports already offer free Wi-Fi. However, the complimentary allotment of either 30 minutes or 50MB of data already provided is not sufficient.

A comfortable place to catch a snooze was the second most demanded feature in the survey. Almost half of respondents voted in favour of a place to sleep before catching a flight. Free transport inside the airport building was the third most popular choice on passengers’ wish lists.

A significant 27% of travellers voted for airside shower facilities, while 23% said there should be a children’s playroom. A library (13% of respondents), a health spa (12%), a cinema (11%), a games room (9%) and a gym (6%) rounded out the top 10.

A few of those surveyed said a swimming pool and a nightclub would be useful at the airport.

“While these aspirations might seem outlandish, they become less bizarre when you consider some of the weirdest airport features around the world, such as Munich Airport, which houses a wave pool much like the one at Durban’s Gateway Theatre of Shopping,” Travelstart says.

Regarding existing services at Acsa airports, survey participants indicated that the clarity of airport announcements should be improved, with 36% saying unclear PA system announcements contributed negatively to the South African airport experience.  — © 2014 NewsCentral Media

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