I was on a business trip recently from Phoenix to Seattle and the Alaska Airlines flight that I was on offered inflight WiFi service through a company called GoGo. It was free from November to December 9th, so I decided to give it a try and see how well it worked with my Netbook and iPod Touch.
Surprisingly, it was a very fast connection (compared to the slow internet connection at the hotel I stayed at the night before) and I could easily view web pages and check email. I even used Logmein.com to access my iMac which was pretty cool. My iPod Touch found the WiFi service and I was able to use my Internet-based apps very easily. I was eager to test out the Netflix video streaming on my iPod but didn’t have time as my flight was getting close to final approach and landing.
So, having the service was great but using the WiFi on my netbook really drained the battery much faster than I had wanted. I ended up not getting as much work done as I had planned since my battery went dead so soon. I guess the next logical step would be to have 12V or AC outlets for the passengers to hook up their laptops for charging (or extra battery packs).
According to Alaska’s web site, they will be charging for this service between $5 – $13 US depending on the length of the flight. At that rate I probably won’t be using their WiFi service, and it’s a shame that they just don’t offer it for free for their passengers (considering all the other fees they like to tack on for travelers).