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Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, and on Tech Guy Labs with Leo Laporte on TWiT.tv. But wait, there's More »

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    The Giz Wiz Asks You! > WiFi on Airplanes.

    Are you looking forward to, and will you use WiFi if it's available on your flight?

    Personally I'd love to be able to watch my Slingbox movies from home cable box on my Netbook. Problem is, if the battery power is low and there isn't AC at the seat, and I don't have a spare battery, I don't want to spend the money. Right now, I'm hearing $12.95 or so for a transcon flight. That sound like a fair price?

    What are your thoughts?

    Dick De, The Giz Wiz

    September 1, 2009 | Registered CommenterThe Giz Wiz

    I am looking forward to it on long flights. We just need to figure out the society standards for behavior concerning things like porn sites and loud Skype calls. I do not sleep well on planes and would love to be able to get stuff done. I just hope that with the airborne wiFi we get power at every seat in coach and they make it easy yo get to the plug.

    September 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChuck

    Tried it on American Airlines on way from Baltimore to Dallas. Very useful -- tweeted (same username) from 10,000+ meters up. Netbooks are very useful in this regard.

    September 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSTrRedWolf

    I got to try Southwest's WiFi in May, happening to be on one of their "trial run" planes. It was free, skype was blocked, but I could twitter, check and reply to email, and do all sorts of random surfing.

    I'm not sure if I would pay for the service, though. Perhaps if I was working on a business related project requiring the internet, then it would be worth $13. Especially on a flight lasting more than 8 hours. But there really is very little I would be doing online on a plane that could not wait until I landed and had found free WiFi somewhere else.

    September 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoNell

    Hi Dick!

    I used the WIFI on American last month and I thought it was a great value for the work I was able to get done on the plane. Since most of the tools we use are online (SaaS) I usually just watch a movie or read a book. But with online access I could respond to VM (google Voice) via email and support customers with our CRM solution.

    So, for business travelers, it's great.

    September 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterXPO

    I like wifi on the plane. I've used it twice now, once with my iPhone and once with laptop. It allows me to be more productive with my time. $13 seems reasonable for PC but think iPhone or other handheld should be less. I would be all for restricting the wifi from VoIP apps though.

    September 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTavisS

    I used it for the first time last month on a short American Airlines flight from Dallas. It worked reasonably well, but I found the sign-up process to be a little clumsy. $6 an hour (what it amounted to for my short flight) might only be worth it for business customers. If you just CAN'T disconnect from the office, this will be good for you. I just hope adult sites and voice chat will not be able to disturb other fliers.

    September 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDan Dickgrafe

    I so completely hate everything about commercial air travel that I don't care if they get fiber optic cable from the plane to the ground. Commercial air travel is cruel and unusual punishment--and that doesn't even include the sneaky trick of having an airport at BOTH ENDS. Airports aren't quite as bad as airplanes, but it's a close race. Ick.

    Wi-Fi? Not even close. Free booze? Dancing girls? Complementary copies of long lived satirical magazines?


    I'll drive. Or walk. Or stay home.

    Bill (although I'm thinking about the magazine deal, but they'd never do it)

    September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill Morgan