In-flight WiFi by United Airlines

Old 3 Comments on In-flight WiFi by United Airlines 50

A few months ago, at the tail end of our winter, I decided enough was enough with the cold and the snow and decided to take a week and head south. One of my favorite places to go for a shorter holiday is Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve been there numerous times, you can usually count on the weather being pretty good and stable, and it’s an easy place to go and just relax (with plenty of things to do with the family).

Obviously, being where I am physically, air travel for me is always a full-day ordeal. I’ve got a 2 and a half hour flight to Vancouver, British Columbia, then usually a layover for a few hours, then the next plane ride further south. This particular time, it was a 9 hour adventure in total.

As you know, I am a business owner, and my business provides 3rd party IT support services to clients. I have staff, but as the owner of any business would understand, there are always a million things on the go for me. Between e-mails, staff escalations and dealing with vendors, I can’t be out of touch for days on end, and sometimes, not even hours on end. So being on planes can be tough, since there is no cellular service and no way to keep in touch.

I’ve heard about the roll-out for WiFi in-flight, but I had never experienced it. To my surprise, the United Airlines flight from Vancouver to Phoenix had WiFi on board. Eagerly, I connected up. $3.50 for an hour worth of WiFi. Not even that outrageously priced. I got my smartphone connected up and I was functioning on e-mail and instant messaging. The speeds weren’t great, and sometimes there was considerable lag or an inability to load something. Overall however, I was happy with the service and believed I got good value for my money.

In a day and age when we’re expected to be connected 24/7, something as simple as a plane ride can be debilitating. Finally, the roll-out for WiFi on airplanes is actually happening, and we can stay connected despite being 35,000 feet in the air.


Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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  1. Aaron Whitcomb July 1, 2014 at 1:18 am

    Hey Martin, how was your trip to Phoenix? I am from Southern California and I have family and friends in Arizona. When you say, “the weather being pretty good and stable”, that is because that is just the nature of the entire southwest; there is not much in the way of four seasons in the desert. If you have never been to the coastal desert of California, I think you would enjoy really enjoy San Diego, truly truly. I will have in-flight wifi on my upcoming flight from Tokyo, Japan to Los Angeles where I will have a delay in San Francisco and then a short flight to LAX with in-flight wifi.

  2. David Goodin July 3, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Last time I had 9 hours of air travel (with layovers) I was going to Montana on business. I can usually fly to Toronto (direct from LAX) in far less time! I only connect to in-flight wifi when it is free. Southwest Airlines offers free wifi for A-List Preferred fliers like me! I usually don’t bother with it since most of my flights are usually less than an hour but I have to admit that it is nice to get e-mail in flight! On longer flights (Orange County, CA to Chicago) I usually wind down with a Kindle book or catch up on my newspaper reading.

  3. Martin Lehner July 7, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Aaron: What’s there to do in San Diego that’s family-friendly ? Other than the zoo of course. I’ve been thinking of checking out San Fran at some point. I’ve been to Phoenix (Maricopa specifically) a number of times now. I find it easy to get to and easy to relax in.

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