If you intend to work while on your next flight and wish to send files, check email, chat or surf the web, then make sure you are flying aboard a Boeing 737-400 plane. The Boeing planes will now offer Wi-Fi service that enables you to access the Internet features you are used to at home or at the office, even log in to your corporate networks via VPN.
The high-speed Internet service is called Connexion, it lets you communicate wirelessly while in flight. A two-way satellite links with a network of ground-based stations. You can use the service by visiting the Connexion website and creating a user account. Expect to shell out $30 on most international travels, $20 for trips that last less than 6 hours, or $10 for the first 60 minutes of access, then just pay 25 cents for up each minute thereafter.
Don’t expect Connexion to be perfect though as you may encounter setting-up problems due to interference or due to a general ‘conflict’ with your laptop’s set up. Flight attendants can assist you because they can reach ground tech support through VoIP phones or text chat on their own Internet-connected machines. However, these systems are not standard.
The up side? Well, once you’re connected to Connexion, you can expect DSL-like speeds with maximum throughputs reaching 20 megabits per second, not bad at all consider you are 33,000 feet in the air traveling at 830 km/h.