If you follow me on Twitter ( @WinObs ) you are aware that I am headed to El Salvador today with Delta. In fact I am sitting on our flight in a ground delay here in Jax due to overhead issues in Atlanta. We are being used as a fill in flight since it is such a quick run up to Atlanta from Jax. Normal flight time is 45 minutes but I have made it in less than 30 before under similar circumstances.
Anyway – my flight delay is not the reason for this post. As I boarded the flight today I saw a sticker by the door that said WiFi onboard. Being the geek I am that got my geekiness going and I am determined to try out this service even on this short flight.
The service is in conjunction with GoGo Inflight Internet whose parent company is AirCell. Now this is a paid service although I can not find anything on their site via my mobile browser about pricing.
On a side note – with the number of mobile browser users out in the world you would think every company would have a functioning mobile version of their website. Especially a company that offers inflight WiFi and the only way to get info about it before the flight while your on the airplane is via your mobile phone.
So as I fired up my Netbook to start this entry during our 30 minute delay I did notice a very strong WiFi signal onboard the aircraft and made a connection but as soon as I opened my browser the service reported it was unavailable. I expected this because the service is only available once the aircraft is above 10,000 feet which is when portable electronics and laptops are authorized for use during a flight.
According to what I read on their website via my phones mobile browser this service uses cell phone towers which have cellular signals pointed up into the air to provide connectivity to the aircraft which has a receiver on the belly of the aircraft. This signal is then distributed within the aircraft via WiFi. According to the GoGo Inflight Wikipedia page about this service, referring to information provided by Walter Mossberg, the speed is on par with what you get on a cell phone on land or a home DSL connection – somewhere between 500-600KBS for downloads and 300KBS for uploads.
So my plan is to leave this post as it is and once we get airborne and above 10,000 feet I will log in, sign up for access and post this from the skies above the South East United States. I have written many posts from the skies but never been able to upload one – so my geekiness is really getting satisfied today with a first. More to follow.
Airborne and Connected
Well we are finally airborne and above 10,000 feet. A nice surprise as I signed up for my GoGo account was a free first time user code and so this connection that would have normally cost $9.95 is free for the duration of this flight – Sweet!
Sign up was simple and easy and the connection is strong here in the aircraft. I am currently downloading email, signing into Twitter with Seesmic Desktop and starting up Windows Live Messenger to try and chat with my wife for a minute (although she is currently offline :-( )
I will sign off for now on this post and get it uploaded. Signing off from above 10,000 feet for the first time ever!