Looks like America has finally caught up with Japan’s technology once and for all with obtaining internet access on major airlines. Well, it’s just American Airlines right now–and it’s still a bit primitive compared to what Japan has already. If you’ve ever seen ads online for JAL in Japan, they’ll prominently and elegantly show you how you can experience fast internet speeds, hi-tech monitors on the back of each seat, the ability to view any movie you want on same, better-spaced seating and sound-proof pullover canopies for when you have to sleep. It’s the kind of thing you drool over when most American airline services have crossed the line now of being near the ultimate torture chamber. Yes, it went over the edge when we started being charged for a glass of water.
That’s not to say that internet access on airlines here won’t cost you an arm and a leg eventually. American Airlines is just testing out a new service called GoGo that enables you to plug an internet connection into your laptop where you can pretty much do everything you want with a high-speed line just like you can back at home. The only drawback is that it uses a system using antennas back down on Earth set up through a corporation called AirCell. That company wisely invested in the possibility of Wi-Fi coming to all major airlines before the next decade begins. But some experts think that it would be better and more convenient for passengers if they will also incorporate best wifi booster so passengers can have a genuine strong connection.
Whether it does or not will depend on how much people are willing to pay for it. Apparently the test of GoGo on American Airlines charged people about $12.95 just for a few hours’ use of internet. Some might consider that about $4 an hour for internet use up in an airline is well worth the trouble, especially if you need to write an email, read your email, chat or, for some people, look up things that ordinarily would be done in the privacy of their home.
And that’s where the biggest concern might lie within the convenience. For the people who get their boat floated looking up porn on the net, the comfort and freedom of being able to look up anything on the net while on long flights might prove too tempting for (hopefully) adults who may also be a little creepy. Yeah, it’s ok to say that since said adjective is only one of a thousand you can always say while sharing an airline flight with people of all annoyances. With all the reports in recent years of spoiled brat passengers who get drunk and demand the world at their feet from the flight attendants, it does make you wonder how online access on our airlines will be abused.
Apparently you’ll have some lag on occasion should there be other users overburdening the service. That’s still the imperfection of Wi-Fi, and possible technical difficulties with those AirCell antennae. But be warned that if you look up things you shouldn’t on an airline Wi-Fi, a flight attendant will “nicely” tell you to take it off of there so kids in the nearby vicinity won’t see it. Of course, that’ll cause someone to erupt into an argument if they’ve had one too many martinis.
Consider that America loves to take the fullest advantage of convenient technology when it’s available, which is quite different from Japan where you’ll likely find a lot more conservatism on a flight. Because internet seems to be the ultimate domain for just about everybody now, it’s easy to predict that certain emotions are going to be heightened with things downloaded there. Some people are at the point where they feel entitled to the internet anytime, anywhere and not worry about who might be affected nearby. It’s similar to that obnoxious person sitting next to you on the airline who just so happens to have a bad cough from the flu…and you’ll both be on a flight lasting 12 hours.
That self-entitlement to having the internet as our domain in public places may not bode well for when Wi-Fi becomes even faster and we’re seeing internet use by people in parks and right in the middle of a concert.
While most public places demand the individual to self-regulate what they look up with possible children around them, at least airlines are one of the few regulated places where defiant free will and creation of a personal Mile-High club may just have you being sent out the cabin door a la D.B. Cooper…