Long call flights can test the patience of even the most stoic people, as boredom inevitably sets in. Reading can be tiresome for the eyes, while listening to music for the entire flight is only an alternative for the most dedicated fans. Airlines have realized that an Internet connection would make all the difference in the world and it will provide travelers with the impetus to choose one company over another. Wi-Fi on planes isn’t the rule yet, but there are plenty of airlines that offer this service.
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How can you gain access to Wi-Fi in-flight?
Some companies founded worthwhile to upgrade their airplanes with equipment that provide travelers with access to the Internet. Airplanes that fly short distances rarely offer these facilities, but long-haul flights are often equipped with the gear needed to connect travelers to the World Wide Web. US domestic flights dominate the industry, with only a few of their European counterparts offering in-flight Wi-Fi.
Assuming the company you are flying with offers Wi-Fi, you can download a specialized app before you get on board. Once in the air, people can buy the package and connect to the Internet, but in most cases this will be pretty expensive. The fact that travelers are charged for this service has a deterring effect on prospective users, especially when the prices are prohibitive. Under normal circumstances, travelers can purchase a package that will only set them back a few dollars for 30 minutes or less.
Is it worth paying for in-flight Wi-Fi?
Now that we know that certain airlines offer their travelers the possibility of paying for Wi-Fi, the question is whether this service is worth the financial effort. The companies justify this expenditure by highlighting the fact that installing the gear and the antenna will increase the airplanes drag hence the fuel consumption. When it comes to long-haul flights, paying a small amount for the opportunity of going online is definitely tempting, but the quality of the connection is also debatable.
The technology used by airplanes to connect travelers to the Internet is top-of-the-line but this doesn’t mean that people enjoy speeds comparable to the Wi-Fi on the ground. The more people try to connect, the slower the speeds, so pages take more time to load and browsing can bea tedious process. You can forget about playing casino games, watch videos or listen to music on your in-flight connection. It does help when you need to access information before you arrive to the airport and to visit regular websites.
For the time being, Wi-Fi on long-haul flights feels more of a gimmick because of the many obstacles and subpar speeds. The good news is that the airlines are improving the service, by making it less expensive and more reliable. The future definitely looks bright and given the intense competition between the airlines, it is safe to assume that in a not so distant future, in-flight Wi-Fi will be fast and free.