Inflight Wi-Fi is something I’ve always wanted to try out, to my knowledge the only place where this service is commonly available is on internal US based flights and from what I gather from colleagues and others on Twitter it works well. So needless to say I was looking forward to trying it out on my flight between Orlando, Florida (after helping support the EMC labs at VMware PEX 2011) and Boston, Massachusetts (home of the EMC Mother Ship).
I thought I’d put this blog post together (at 25K+ feet) for other Europeans/Antipodeans such as myself who have also been curious about inflight Wi-Fi and haven’t had the opportunity to try it out on a US flight as yet.
I am flying with Delta airlines who offer the ‘gogo’ inflight internet service which appears to be provided via an AT&T internet connection. Upon boarding you can connect to the inflight Wi-Fi though as a message informs the Wi-Fi only becomes available when over 10,000 feet.
The Wi-Fi service costs US$9.99 for the flight which is pretty good value in my opinion even for a short three hour flight like the one I am on.
I ran a speed test and saw 190-260ms ping times to a range of different ground based servers in the US with 0.29-0.57Mb/s download and 0.27-29Mb/s upload speeds, which isn’t bad at all considering I’m over 25,000 feet in the air. Here are a few speed test metrics for those of you who may be interested:
Local Server (150miles approx)
Destination: Server at my flight’s destination (950miles approx)
West Coast: A server on the opposite coast of the US (>2100 miles)
So in summary I have been impressed with the cost and speed to in-flight Wi-Fi internet service and would really like to see it introduced to flights across Europe. That said, it is something of a double edged sword as although highly convenient to remain online it does mean that remain highly available via email, messenger, etc meaning you potentially won’t have the luxury of any quiet time to relax or catch up on your already large backlog of emails. As for me, I’m happy to remain online as I the self-control to turn the Wi-Fi off.(I think) if needed.