Greetings from American Flight 1718, en route from Chicago to Boston. It's the first flight with onboard Wi-Fi (GoGo) for yours truly, and I thought I'd quickly share my experience with this still-nascent technology.
First of all, it's fast, with no noticeable difference from wireless on the ground. Getting online was easy and free, thanks to a first-time-user promo code from American. I was up and running in about five minutes, and since then I've had seamless wireless service. The only hitch was that I couldn't access wireless from my iPhone. GoGo kept telling me to allow cookies on my browser, which I did, but to no avail. I got the same message no matter how many times I checked to confirm cookies were enabled. Anyone else have this experience?
Second of all, I can see how Wi-Fi is both a good perk and a good value for business travelers. Since it operates at normal on-the-ground speeds (at least for me), people with work to do (ahem, like myself) can actually get it done. The service would have cost $9.95 without the code, and I think it's worthwhile to show up at the office caught up on work and email. Since most business travelers can expense that cost, it's a no brainer.
Unless, of course, you want to take a nap. The unseen cost of in-flight wireless is that it removes you from the experience of flying. I'm a window-seat type of flyer, and I love gazing out of the window at the world below. Instead, I'm staring at a computer screen. A sign of the times, I suppose.
Anyway, I think we're beginning to descend toward Boston, so I'll sign off. If you've used in-flight wireless, did you think it was a good value? Would you use it again? Share your experience in the comments section below. Thanks!