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.

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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