From Our ReadersWi-Fi in the AirFrom Our Readers

As I write this, I’m on Southwest Flight 933 to Los Angeles from Chicago. It seems that Southwest is working towards providing its passengers with Wi-Fi access during flights and this is one of the four planes in their fleet that is equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities.

This begs the question: are Wi-Fi equipped planes necessary and how will they effect us?

My initial thought is that we all have to prepare ourselves for a new in-flight category of Twitter updates….

“@edgalvez is stuck on the tarmac. Friendly skies? Maybe if we ever get off the ground!”

“@joshcheeeneee is annoyed by the $%@#-ing crying baby next to me and the annoying toddler kicking my seat!”

“@pricklyfoam is in mad turbulence, yo.”

“@jamiecampbell79 is eating peanuts and Mountain Dew. I’m not shelling out 7 bucks for a beer. What, you think I’m made of money?”

Wi-Fi planes will also give us the ability to connect with our fellow passengers. I’m in the midst of creating a Facebook group page for Flight #993 where we can all friend each other and keep in touch during the flight.

We can post discussion threads to contemplate important issues like the best looking flight attendant and whether or not that really is the Rocky Mountains out the windows on the left side of the cabin. We might even keep in touch after the flight – checking in with each other every few months and eventually organize a 10-year reunion.

And don’t forget to check out Craigslist: Airline Edition. When you go to the site, just select your airline, flight number and departure city. I heard you’ve been looking for a used copy of Twilight. It just so happens that the college girl in 13B just finished hers and it can be yours for pennies. Pissed that you got crackers instead of Oreos for your snack? Don’t worry, the guy in the emergency exit aisle will happily trade with you.

And what about all those missed connections? We can hook you up before we even land. Southwest and other airlines that jump onto the Wi-Fi bandwagon will be able play matchmaker to a gaggle of people who are too shy to physically approach that out-of-reach passenger. Wi-Fi makes it possible for these lovebirds to get together.

“Me in a middle seat, reading the Skymall catalogue. You struggling to put your carry-on in the overhead bin. If interested, meet me in the latrine at the back of the plane or come by Aisle 28. I’ll be the one wearing the Lakers throwback jersey without any shoes. Don’t forget to bring your oxygen mask because girl, I’m gonna take your breath away.”

Whether or not Southwest’s new amenities will be ground-breaking or go up in flames remains to be seen.

On the one hand, it signifies the loss of something. Airplanes seem like the final frontier when it comes to living off the grid. For an extended period of time, you can sit in solitude, unreachable by friends, family, co-workers, solicitors. But with this upgrade, I remain a slave to the machine . I’ve got the technological capabilities to be connected to everyone at all times but I’ve got no haven where I can just be alone with my thoughts for awhile.

I admit it’s a novelty to be able to connect to the internet from 30,000 feet in the air and if anything, it makes the time go by faster. With all the youtube clips that have been piling up in my “to watch” folder, I’ll never be without something to do on a flight. But then again, maybe sometimes it’s good to just do nothing.

by Tia Ayers

Read more from Tia at lovelikearobot.com or on Twitter at @tiaayers

 

comments

Please help us maintain positive conversations by refraining from posting spam, advertisements, and links to other websites or blogs. we reserve the right to remove your comment if it does not adhere to these guidelines. thanks! post a comment.

  1. great article Tia. We do not fly much so maybe it would help my disllike of flying

  2. I’m pretty much always in airplane mode, now I will have no excuse as this becomes obsolete. Thanks for letting me know!

  3. I like the idea of starting a Facebook page for your flight, would love to know where a lot of former passengers are today. Except for those people who were in coach. Gross.

  4. Wifi on a flight might be the best thing to happen but at what price?

  5. Love this article! I think it will help settle the jitters while flying but I thought if you have your electronics on we’d all crash due to the pilot getting mixed messages… that’s what they make you feel like if you have one one while flying. Sometimes the plane is the only time you have to actually sit and think and do some work without interruptions. Great writing!!! I want to see some more of your writings!

  6. you are good and we are all jealous!

  7. Good article Tia! i’m writing this from a tractor. But it has wifi! Next article on rural wifi on farm vehicles please!!!

    • Will do! My parents have wi-fi on their farm and I’m sure my dad has checked his email while on the tractor.

  8. I love wifi on the plane because I hate having to wait until I land to order from SkyMall.

  9. This was absolutely a great article. A friend of mine told me to get on here and read it. First time for me and was impressed. Tia, please write more and I will be hooked forever!!!!

  10. Haha. Loved it. It was like getting 99 tweets from your Twitter feed (which is awesome) all at once.

  11. Hahaha “Don’t forget to bring your oxygen mask because girl, I’m gonna take your breath away.” that’s hilarious

  12. Good article gotta fun!

  13. Lotta*

  14. Awesome!

  15. Nice piece Tia! I hate the idea of not having that little bit of disconnection on a plane anymore – I get yelled at if I don’t answer work emails after hours from my phone, WTF. There’s something to be said for just sitting and thinking, not constantly reacting and doing.

    • Thanks, Brandie! Usually after seeing a movie, I’ll have frantic voicemails from people worried about my whereabouts.

  16. hahaha this is a brilliant post. Honestly, i’ve never given it any thought. I suppose it shows the dependancy we have to always, ALWAYS be connected to the world. However, personally, I appreciate the time of disconnecting. And I also happen to thoroughly enjoy people-watching on the plane (yes, i’m the creeper that watches the person to my right out of the corner of my eye).