2009 Will Be the Year of In-Flight Connectivity . . . Will You be Twittering from Above?

A few airline carriers rolled out in-flight internet service in 2008 but most did not reach their planned goals for how many planes would be equipped. By the end of 2009, I think we'll see in-flight internet service as the norm with so many carriers looking for ways to increase revenue.  Some good news..... From what I read, airlines are blocking VoIP usage (thank goodness!), keeping chatter noise at their current sound levels on flights. 

Those that need constant access to keep equilibrium will happily jump on the net.  Others may use it to stay in touch with family and friends while some will simply appreciate the entertainment value. Many, of course, will use in-flight internet for business reasons. For those who find flying uncomfortable, internet access may be the perfect distraction. Whatever the reason, think about using a privacy screen on your laptop to keep seatmates with wandering eyes at bay. 

While I'm typically an early technology adopter (I was one of the first to have an original heavyweight cell phone that almost needed its own carry-on bag!), I'm not too excited about in-flight internet, at least for flights of a few hours or less. I use flight time to plan my week, update my to-do list, get client work and writing done, read, and enjoy precious time spent deep-thinking about anything and everything. Quiet time like this is rare during the week. 

While it would be nice to send a few emails that are on my task list or pay a few bills, I know me........checking and responding to emails, surfing the web and doing a lot of this-and-that which would just fritter away the time. I'd get off the plane feeling I did not have my act together because the time was not used for quiet planning. This solitude time in-flight is very important to me and is a key contributor to feeling a balance between home and work lives.  However, internet access is much more enticing for longer flights of a few hours or more. 

So I'm sorry, Delta and American and all the rest, I don't plan on increasing your bottom line with my online access too often. With several east-to-west coast travels already planned for this year, however, my reflection time may be supplanted with just a bit of internet time. 

How about you? Go to Pearls of Travel Wisdom (of course if you're online during flight, come visit!) and let me know your thoughts on this ever-present internet access at 35,000 feet and whether you'll be twittering from above. 

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