Flying WiFi Woes

Daniel Amen, here on linkedin, is well aware that flying can be a source of anxiety for many people. A long boring flight where it’s impossible to sleep probably wont make it onto someone’s bucket list. Up in the air it’s common for travelers to use devices to entertain themselves. The overriding complaint seems to always be the speed and quality of an airplane’s WiFi. This brings most major airlines to the difficult task of improving the quality.

Partnerships with different providers make the issue a tough one to manage. Currently, only 5% of planes have internet on board. To get a connection up in the sky, the airline has to utilize satellite technology or an air-to-ground system; otherwise known as Go-Go. American, United, and Delta all have signed Go-Go contracts with an expectation that they will renew in 2017.

Getting Internet onto an aircraft is expensive. Americans nowadays are used to free WiFi everywhere they go, so they find it infuriating when the Internet on their planes isn’t the greatest. Major airlines have taken note of the issue, and frequent flyers can finally begin to rejoice. Airline JetBlue partnered with Amazon to provide WiFi and free broadband streaming for Amazon Prime subscribers. JetBlue is paving the way to more accessible WiFi in the sky, and other airlines are expected to mimic their movements in the years to come.