Is This The Future?

by Nancy Bestor

coffee-in-the-air-1450007-639x961On our way to Jordan, Turkish Airlines offered free wifi to all its passengers. This my first opportunity to use in-flight wifi, and I was excited by the prospect of whiling away the hours endlessly surfing the internet. I logged in easily and my surfing began. I quickly realized however, that while wifi at 30,000 feet may be advanced technology,  it is painfully slow advanced technology. It reminded me of the days of the dial up modem. Actually, it may have even been slower than the old dial up modem. Perhaps in flight wifi works fine when you want to send an email, but to actually browse the internet? Kind of frustrating, in my opinion.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Well, in truth I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I know what Louis C.K. is thinking.  I need to stop whining and be grateful there are airplanes, let alone airplanes with wifi! And indeed, I am grateful. But I have to wonder about passengers who pay for wifi when they fly. Passes with GoGo, one of the most popular in-flight wifi providers, range from $7 for a one hour pass, to $60 for a month long, multi-airline pass for domestic travel. Seems pricey to me just to do lots of slow browsing. JetBlue, however, recently announced that on any plane equipped with wifi, that wifi will be free for all passengers. Perhaps other airlines will follow suit? And pigs will fly. I predict I’ll be sticking to reading good old fashioned books for the foreseeable future.

Here’s an interesting article on how in-flight wifi works, along with a ranking of every major airline’s wifi service.

One thought on “Is This The Future?

  1. Steve says:

    The cost is purely to control demand (very price elastic) vs. supply (essentially fixed throughout per flight). So it’s mostly peeps on biz travel who need to be connected with their staff during travel. There’s a new version coming see (, but it’s still like sharing your home network with a whole plane. It’s still a huge improvement.

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