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Wendy is an IFE Agent responsible for aggregating airline news specifically related to Inflight entertainment. She compiles stories relevant to business travelers, airline industry folks, marketers and tech geeks. IFE News doesn't create original content, but rather posts compelling editorial from global media outlets.

Connectivity in the clouds

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on June 14, 2012

Today, the need to stay connected is all pervasive. The pace at which business transactions, work-place decisions and social interactions take place makes it inevitable to constantly be ‘in the know’. Since the world has shrunk in proportions both due to improved transportation methods and virtual connectivity, having access to the Internet while traveling has come to be considered a must-have amenity.

Many airlines in the United States like Virgin America, AirTan, Delta, Alaska and American Airlines provide Wi-Fi connectivity to their passengers. Though this is intended to be a convenience to passengers, the fee that the airlines charge is a bit pricey. Passengers put the value at $2 or $3 but the reality is far away. The prices for a 90 minute browsing session or one flight may be around $4.95. Schemes like 24-hour access are available for $12.95 onwards.Frequent flyers can save by purchasing a monthly unlimited pass for $39.95 (prices listed for airlines having tie ups with Gogo Inc.)

Airlines have two methods to choose from when it comes to providing in-flight connectivity – Ground-based and Satellite-based. While Gogo Inc. has been providing ground-based services for quite some time now, service providers like Row 44 Inc. use the satellite-based method which is yet to develop to its full capacity.

Findings from a survey undertaken by In-Stat, a research firm reveal that most passengers use the Wi-Fi facilities to download books, update their Facebook pages and track their flights. Another quirky usage pattern that has emerged is communicating with the flight attendants and other crew via Twitter posts. Free browsing is provided to peruse sites regarding online shopping, flight information etc. Though this looks pointless, passengers tend to ask things like location of power points and food orders through Microblogging rather than actually talking to the people who are right in front of their eyes. Can this be listed as one of the perils of social networking – human interaction dwindling down to dangerous levels? This trend will only see an increase in times to come as the Internet will occupy a larger part of our lives.

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