Sunday, September 6, 2009

Blog post from above 20,000 foot in the air: Trying out GoGo Inflight Internet on Delta

Most of us in the business of consulting know of the 20,000 foot-view. And from 20,000 foot above, life certainly looks different. And there again, frequent fliers dream of the mile-high club and other perks that comes one’s way.

Given how cyber connected we are, should I have been surprised that airlines would offer internet access from up in the air? Surely not. This labor day weekend on a Delta airline flight (DL 1196) from Atlanta to Philadelphia, I got around try a free promotion of GoGo in-flight internet (This blog entry was posted while on air).

My initial reactions: Wow. This is cool!

One of the first things I did after logging in using my wi-fi enabled laptop? Check my Skymiles account: And sure enough I see posted :06 Sep 2009 Delta Flight 1196 from Atlanta, GA to Philadelphia, PA (K) 666

Now, as a technologist, seamless integration like this does not cease to amaze me: less than ½ hour after the flight takes off, (my boarding card scanned at gate), my skymileage account was updated. Now, this is probably as real-time as I want it to be! Any better/faster response and it will perhaps come at a higher cost to Delta (and to the consumer: me)

To ZDNet's blog query: Would you use in-flight Wi-Fi? (Would you pay for it?). I would say, it is a service worth having, especially for business travelers. For short haul flights, the $9.95/12.95 flight pass may a bit pricy but I guess it is worth it if one is working on a hot proposal and really needs to be connected.

Yet another frequent-flier perk: it is a matter of time before Delta, Air Canada, United et al begin offering this as a “perk” to the elite/platinum/super-elite members?!
The speed is not terribly fast. So I wonder about current use of VOIP/skype/Yahoo messenger chats. Wonder if this service would cannibalize the sky-phones ?
Bottom Would I be willing to pay for this every time I travel? Maybe not (till it is offered as a perk). Would I be willing to pay for it on a need basis? Sure: if I have an important client meeting to attend and I want the directions mailed to me or be able to check-in for the next flight or confirm my rental car. Like I said: an excellent tool for the globe-trotting business traveler.

Other Blog Reactions on the topic

Ps: though I have not been actively tracking blog statistics or even attempting to promote this blog (yet), I have a couple of followers. Thanks Rock and issam for googling/following my blog


  1. Blogging in the air must surely have its thrill... :)
    Just to draw out of your point - Need based services is the need of the hour. Customers would love to be charged when they are really getting something out of it. There would definitely be an added sense of satisfaction here. :)
    And about following - I like your writings ... I was following from your official blog :)
    Do keep writing...

  2. Issam,
    Thanks for the comment. Yes, only time will tell if paid internet access from 30K foot is a need or yet another perk.

    ps: And thanks for the kind words about my blog posts. Sure, I will try and continue to blog on and off the air .. between my paying day-job. ;-)