Do you like to travel? This group is for you!Planning a trip? Check out GovLoop’s Per Diem Calculator. Search by city or zip code and learn more about hotels, restaurants, events, and more, in cities across the country. We’ve even included links to Yelp reviews, to help you find the best places to stay, dine, or enjoy a night on the town.
WI-FI on the Airlines
April 30, 2009 at 12:14 pm #71069
WI-FI in the air
Slowly but surely!
Delta airlines is rolling out a wireless in-flight Internet access service called GoGo from Aircell. I just flew between New York City and Florida and both flights had Wi-Fi Internet access.
According to a blog on Delta’s website, they had 13 planes with Wi-Fi on January 23, 2009. By February 9th, they had it installed on 20 planes. Then they added 5 planes in the next nine days and 25 in the following 23 days. By mid-March Wi-Fi Internet access was available on “just over 15% of the domestic mainline fleet” and they were adding more than a plane a day. Then they added 9 planes in 5 days, followed by 18 planes in the following 9 days. As of yesterday (March 27th) “There are now 77 Wi-Fi equipped planes in the Delta fleet which is nearly 25% of our domestic fleet.”
Where is this going?
Delta’s blogger, Chris B., says “every a/c in the MD88, MD90, 737, 757-200 and 767-300 (domestic) fleets will be fitted with Wi-Fi. Additionally, we’ll begin installs on the A319 and A320 fleets beginning in late 2009/2010.” According to the Gogo website, the service will be available on 300 Delta planes by the end of 2009.
When I first wrote about Wi-Fi on Delta, I couldn’t find any information at Delta’s website searching on the usual keywords. Fortunately the blog has links to a page introducing the Gogo service and a not particularly informative FAQ. The Gogo service is also on twitter.
Neither Delta.com page addresses the issue of signing up for the service on the ground. Personally, I’m hesitant to enter sensitive information on a public Wi-Fi network, HTTPS or no HTTPS. It’s a long story, but HTTPs does not, in all cases, guarantee that the data you enter is secure. Then too, you never know what eyes, be they human or camera, are watching.
Delta doesn’t yet let their customers know ahead of time which flights are Wi-Fi enabled (Virgin airlines does). No doubt, this is, in part, due to the fact that they don’t know until late in the game which specific plane will be used. If you travel with binoculars, the Delta blog lists the Tail Numbers of the Wi-Fi enabled planes. You can also look for this decal on the outside of the plane.
When booking a Delta flight, your odds are much better on an MD88. Here is their current tally:
MD88 – 71 aircraft
MD90 – 1 aircraft
B757-200 – 5 aircraft
May 18, 2009 at 12:25 pm #71073
MORE airlines join the crowd…
Airlines rush to offer Wi-Fi aboard planes
Connections — the wireless kind — are starting to be made in the U.S. skies as one airline after another begins testing and offering broadband Internet access on their planes.
By becoming mobile “hot spots,” airline cabins also risk becoming the scene of etiquette dilemmas.
What if a seat neighbor is boldly cruising porn websites? Or the woman on the aisle is watching an R-rated movie that’s fine for adult gawkers but not for the 8-year-old in the next seat?
“There is this specter that wireless Internet access will mean people will be exposed to things in crowded conditions,” said David Ridley, senior marketing vice president with Southwest Airlines.
There is nothing to stop people from bringing objectionable magazines and DVDs on board today, Ridley said. “We all have this horrific vision of what the Internet can perhaps bring, and it doesn’t happen.”
Southwest is testing Wi-Fi for laptops, i Phones and BlackBerries provided via satellite by California-based Row 44 on four aircraft.
In the competitive aviation world, Wi-Fi is another service that airlines will be compelled to offer, particularly to the lucrative business sector.
AirTran Airways announced last week that all of its 136 jets will be outfitted with Internet access by July. Virgin America boasted that its 28-plane fleet will be enabled by May 25.
American says it will equip its 300 planes in the next two years; Delta will have it on 330 planes this year. Others such as Denver’s largest airline, United, are testing it on a few planes while assessing customer feedback and working through issues including etiquette.
The idea of onboard, online access is “fantastic” for checking e-mail and the service should be free on short flights, said Toshi Chun, a music major at the University of Northern Colorado.
But, Chun added, “airlines should filter adult content out and people should use common courtesy” on what they watch and read.
The airlines are anticipating problems, with several planning to block adult content, such as questionable websites.
Jess Hollman of Chicago, in Denver for a conference, said she’s concerned about privacy, though in-air access would be helpful in working on job-related material.
“I worry about proprietary information if you are logging on to your company’s network,” Hollman said.
Greg Hoyt, a retired software worker from Sacramento, believes people will use good etiquette when it comes to content.
But he cautioned about “not doing anything that requires a password” on airline Wi-Fi, adding, “It’s not secure. Other people can see what you’re doing.”
May 26, 2009 at 10:49 am #71071
Survey: Airport Wi-Fi More Important Than Food
Saturday, May 23, 2009 – by Shawn Oliver
For the business traveler (and the traveler in general, really), Wi-Fi is important — crucial, even. But more important than sustenance? That’s exactly what was found in a recent survey by American Airlines and HP, where some 47% of business travelers responded that Wi-Fi was the “most important airport amenity, outscoring basic travels needs such as food by nearly 30 percentage points.”
The online study gathered results from 1,500 frequent travelers who log more than 20 trips a year on three or more airlines, and it also found that the largest complaint wasn’t delayed flights, cramped areas, endless fees or the lack of an AC outlet in coach — no, it was dead PC batteries. Yes, dead batteries, a problem that can absolutely be solved by simply buying a spare before the trip commences. Approximately 67% of frequent flyers say dead batteries (41.4%) and no available power outlets (26.3%) are the biggest problems. In addition, 90% of frequent flyers surveyed hit the road with either a notebook computer and/or a cell phone with them.
The survey also found that work efficiency drops dramatically while in the air, undoubtedly tied to the general unavailability of Wi-Fi in the skies. Of course, certain airlines are doing their best to change that, but largely, the major legacy carriers have been slow in adopting and implementing the technology. Comically enough, American Airlines purports to be taking this news to heart and helping out, but it’s far and away one of the worst airlines to travel on if looking for ample connectivity at the gate and in the sky. Who knows, maybe the tide is turning, but we’ve still got quite awhile before Internet on the airplane is the rule and not the exception.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.