The growth in mobile technology
Whether for keeping the children happy on a five-hour flight, sending emails at 30,000 feet, or checking cricket scores, it is surprising in-flight Wi-Fi is not as standard as the drinks trolley.
Emirates’ announcement of providing Wi-Fi on its Airbus A380s from June, 2012 will maybe shake other airlines into action on this issue.
For US passengers; connecting to the Internet whilst in-flight has become an option available on all AirTran and Virgin America planes and the majority of Delta and American Airlines aircraft.
Several Middle Eastern and Asian carriers also offer the service. Airlines in the UK and the rest of Europe could do with catching up.
British Airways offer a limited service on its Airbus A318s flying from London City Airport to New York’s JFK.
British Midlands Airways tested in-flight Wi-Fi as did Ryanair, who went as far as to install the system on 20 of its aircraft, but disagreements with the service provider meant plans were halted in March of this year.
As a way of solving in-flight entertainment problems, it would be perfect. Hand-held gaming devices could be connected, films watched, so long as batteries lasted and emails, tweets or messages sent.
Fair enough, it might be a bit of a squash to fit a larger laptop between you and the seat in front on low cost airlines, but Blackberry and other mobile users would be in their element.
Studies in the US have shown cost to be a major issue in keeping passengers from using in-flight Wi-Fi, so if it were to be a success, airlines would need to offer the service at a low price.
Virgin America offered free Wi-Fi on all of its flights during the last Christmas holidays, apparently with enthusiastic response.
Perhaps the cost of installation has been putting airlines off, or the lack of power outlets next to seats, but is it not about time Wi-Fi was installed on all passenger aircraft flying from the UK?
|Comments||Post a comment|
Gemma, Edenbridge, Kent
29 July 2010, 03:31PM
Having Wi-Fi on all flights would be really fantastic, even better too if it were free or built into the cost of the ticket.
KerryHolland, United Kingdom
29 July 2010, 03:35PM
This would be a great idea, and a perfect opportunity to catch up with e-mails and tweets as suggested in the article. Great being able to use your blackberry or I phone. I realise cost is an issue for airlines, but I think it would be a very welcome addition to flying.
Martin Jones, Surrey
2 August 2010, 03:18PM
I can only see Wi-Fi on planes being a success in the mainstream if they make it FREE. People gobbled up food when it was free, but they find it a lot less appetizing when they have to pay. I am happy to go without Internet access for the length of a flight.
JimmyBarber, United Kingdom
3 August 2010, 08:09AM
I am enthusiastic. I read the article and comments on mobile 'phones and (despite the personal inconvenience) generally agree that shouting into a mobile on a flight is going to be anti-social. However, to be able to use my iPad would be great.
Melissa Sayers, London
3 August 2010, 09:25AM
I agree, the idea of being able to use my iPad is a fantastic one, and one that would become more popular as time goes on I would imagine.
Anthony Lake, Totnes
4 August 2010, 12:32PM
I think it would be more appealing if it were free also, all the extra charges are off putting, it would be great to access e-mails and the internet whilst flying though, so in principal, I agree its a good idea.
17 November 2010, 07:51AM
I am happy with Anthony Lake's suggestion. Acess to email and the Internet would be good and can be done silently.
14 April 2011, 02:32PM
Used Wifi on a flight from Barcelona to Stockholm last week and it completely changed the flying experience. I was able to download movies, check facebook and send emails.... three and a half hours that up until now had been wasted.
Sean, Hong Kong
27 July 2011, 05:34PM
As a buyer I spend far too many hours in the air unable to access my emails etc. Having WiFi would be a great advantage as I would be able to work whilst flying and also catch up with family and friends via Facebook.
20 August 2011, 08:12PM
i wouldnt mind paying extra 20 quid or so for internet on 8 hr flight surely profit to be made there!!!
2 June 2012, 10:30AM
can i get wi fi on thomas cook flights as i want to go on the iternet as my flight is 9 hours long also do they charge to use there wi fi ? many thanks !
Tyler, Going on holiday to tunisia
17 August 2012, 01:15PM
Will i be able to use wifi on thomas cook on a four hour flight to tunisia if so please message me back i am going monday so please help
19 September 2012, 05:14PM
No thanks! There is very little happening in most people's email that can't wait. That is the "Curse of the Blackberry" - it creates the delusion that the all email communication is actually urgent and important. It's not! Never has been, never will be.
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