International flight WiFi.

So the other day on a WiFi equipped domestic flight, I wondered why no international flights have WiFi… or at least not any I’ve been on.


Being a technical idiot, I wondered aloud to the gal seated next to me if it was literally because there were no towers on the ocean floor for the plane’s antenna to connect or some such! Here is the whole story:

Stats aside, it’s a totally personal decision whether you think being reachable 24/7 anywhere on or above the planet is a good thing. I have at times really enjoyed the peace of flying because it really is the only time you can unplug and hence relax, as well as really get some focused reading or work done. At the same time, after 14 hours in the air, many of which are during prime business hours it can be quite anxiety inducing to finally check ones email two days later… so what do you think? Good or bad progress? Would you pay more to fly an international airline with WiFi or not?

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5 responses to “International flight WiFi.

  1. This is so helpful! Mike and I just got back from a week in Florida and really could have used wifi on the flight…thanks for the info!

  2. Why is the first thing that comes to my mind “security threat”? Haha. I’m sure I would get over that really quickly though!

  3. According to United: “United now offers Gogo® Inflight Internet service on all p.s.® premium service transcontinental flights, which are available between New York (JFK) and both Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO).” But what’s a “premium service” flight?

    And JetBlue seems to offer something similar to what Inmarsat does: “Taste the future of in-flight experience on JetBlue’s BetaBlue aircraft, an Airbus A320 with complimentary email, shopping and instant messaging services* above 10,000 feet. Together with LiveTV™, Yahoo!®, BlackBerry® and®, we’re proud to offer customers the connectivity they need to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues on the ground.”

    Southwest says: “Southwest Airlines is excited to offer satellite-enabled Wi-Fi internet access onboard. The service is currently on four aircraft, but we hope to begin equipping more of the fleet with this cutting-edge technology in early 2010.”

    American also has GoGo on some flights, as does US Airways.

    Clearly I’m kind of obsessed with this concept. Not sure if it’s a good thing or bad thing though–sometimes it’s kind of nice to be forced to read a book! I’m also not sure how much I’d be willing to pay.

    • Gina, It’s so funny because I was on one of those “premium service” United flights when I wrote that. They’re the commuter flights (mine was JFK –> SFO) and 60% of the cabin is business… anyways, I do wish their was one authoritative website that kept track of WiFi and even more so that there was an easy way to check if your flight would have it or not. In short, always best to have a book on you.

  4. You are a very capable person!

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