Well, here we are…30,000 feet up, and fully connected to the Interwebs. We’re headed to Royal Hideaway for a business conference with our great partners at Funjet Vacations, and lo and behold, our timing was perfect to enjoy a free trial of GoGo Inflight internet access on our USAirways A321.
How convenient is this? I’m able to check emails (and clear my Inbox before hitting the beach…er, attending my first meeting), adjust our online advertising for the weekend, log into Instant Messaging to stay in touch with the office for a few extra hours, and even upload web page updates showing new resort sales. All from the comfort of coach (OK, comfort in coach is a bit of an oxymoron, but cattle pen didn’t sound nearly as exciting).
Very impressive service they have going on here…very fast speeds (150 kB/sec downloads, which is on par with any Panera/Barnes & Noble locations), the ability to log in on multiple devices (I’m logged in on my laptop and iPhone separately), and different rate plans depending on length of flight and device (less expensive for the iPhone than for full laptop connect).
Tried a few experiments – most websites loaded without a hitch (including Facebook and Twitter for all of you addicted to updating your status), email loaded and sent flawlessly including attachments, online storage sites (we use DropBox – fantastic free online backup and file sharing service) performed exactly as expected. One non-starter – Skype doesn’t function, although I believe this is on purpose (in-flight systems aren’t allowing for VOIP calls yet – here’s hoping they don’t, as listening to the businessman next to you prattle on and on about his next big deal for 3 hours could be a bit tedious).
All in all, extremely impressive and useful. USAirways only has it on A321s right now, and disappointingly enough our return flight is a Boeing 757, but it shouldn’t be long before we’re all connected 24/7, no matter where we are. I’m already looking forward to my first mojito by the pool, using Royal Hideaway’s wifi, and really getting to work…