On my last trip, I was delighted to see that American Airlines had added Gogo Inflight Internet on my plane. I’ve seen the occasional story about it, being the traveling dweeb that I am, but this was the first direct encounter. The flight attendant gave me a discount coupon!
Wheels up. Laptop out. Turn on the wireless (a little thrill, that. Naughty.) Start browser – yes! There it is. Is it worth ten bucks for 5 hours of productivity? Hmmm…I had a few dozen emails in the inbox, a blog post to finish – and tweeple to keep in touch with. Yes, let’s give it a try.
Wow! This is good – as fast as in a hotel room. Sign up, credit card number. And…we’re off! I happily worked for several hours and had one or two momentary losses, a page that didn’t load the first time, but hitting refresh always fixed it. And happily had a productive session. Did some research. Caught up on email. Watched a little baseball! (mlb.com rocks. Check out Gameday 3D.)
Then I had the inspiration. My seatmate had left for the rest room and all was quiet – what if Skype worked? Now this is not approved behavior, and Gogo is officially blocking it. Nobody, me included, wants some jerk talking on the phone for 5 hours next to you. But there is another way. One of my buddies was online. I sent an IM via Skype and said: “I’m calling you now. But I won’t use voice – just want the video connection. We’ll type.” And then “you can talk if you want because I have headphones on and nobody will hear.” The video was fine – as good as in my home office. We got a lot done.
Bottom line? Gogo, I’m a fan. Glad you’re adding yourself to planes at a steady pace.
And for us travelers in the future, I doubt we’ll be able to use Skype. But if we’re all well behaved enough, and they don’t notice, you never know….