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Wi-Fi: Invasion at 35,000 Feet

Eric Blinderman

Okay, so maybe I’m dating myself, but I can remember the days when flying was the last bastion of isolation.  The one-to-five hour oasis from the computer, phone, email, texting and all other forms of communication (that is, except for shelling out $3 per minute on those antiquated sky phones, where you had to stretch the cord over your seatmate’s lap to make a crackly call).

Especially before the draconian policies of the TSA, flying used to be somewhat of a pleasure and a bit of a respite from the travails of 35,000 feet below.

Now that cone of silence has been pierced.

I recently took my first flight with on-board Wi-Fi.  I hadn’t flown in a few months and I guess now many planes – especially those on longer cross-country flights – are now equipped with the service.  It’s not exactly cell phone service (I’m sure that’s coming), but it seemed that many people on the plane were tapping the ‘Net.

Having brought work to do and some reading material, I wasn't going to do it.  I was going to respect my personal boundary and stay off the grid.  It started out okay...

I don’t think we had even gotten over Harrisburg before I whipped out the credit card and logged on.  For the rest of the flight to California and for the entire return trip.

They've got us everywhere. CJP

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