Inflight internet?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by MaryDarling, Dec 28, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. MaryDarling

    MaryDarling Silver Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    113
    Status Points:
    325
    Does anyone whether United is going to install internet access on its domestic flights? I know its on their ps service, and they're planning to do it for transcons, but is it going to be widely available domestically?

    In the next two years I'm going to be taking 10 or more RT between SFO and WAS for work, and I'm able to A) fly the airline of my choice and B) fly business/first. As far as I can tell, the only nonstops from SFO are on United or Virgin. (If I'm missing something, let me know.) While I love Virgin's product, I'd prefer to go with United so I can do more with the miles. No internet service, however, is a serious problem.
     
    SC Flier likes this.
  2. unavaca
    Original Member

    unavaca Gold Member

    Messages:
    8,547
    Likes Received:
    11,224
    Status Points:
    14,495
    CO is adding Internet access to the DirecTV birds, but I'm not sure when that's going to happen.

    If you don't mind connecting, your safest bet is doing SFO-JFK on p.s. and connecting to a puddle jumper from JFK to IAD. All p.s. birds have wifi via GoGo. I'm a big fan of Gogo and prefer the p.s. routes for that reason.
     
    MaryDarling likes this.
  3. SC Flier
    Original Member

    SC Flier Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,851
    Likes Received:
    30,839
    Status Points:
    16,520
    In-flight WiFi coming to 300 United and Continental aircraft beginning in mid-2012, entire fleet covered by 2015 -- Engadget
    (Press release from Nov 4, 2011)

    CHICAGO, Nov. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) today announced that it has selected Panasonic Avionics Corporation to provide Wi-Fi connectivity on more than 300 United Airlines and Continental Airlines mainline aircraft beginning in mid-2012. Panasonic's Ku-band satellite technology offers faster speed than air-to-ground technology (ATG) and will provide connectivity on flights worldwide. The system will also enable wireless streaming of video content.​
     
    MaryDarling likes this.
  4. canucklehead
    Original Member

    canucklehead Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,895
    Likes Received:
    22,059
    Status Points:
    11,070
    Beat me to it!!! There was also a thread when originally announced.
     
    MaryDarling likes this.
  5. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,832
    Likes Received:
    14,618
    Status Points:
    11,070
    Yeah, if in-flight wi-fi is a priority, then I wouldn't count on it over the next 2 years (2012 and 2013), because they don't expect it to be rolled out fully until 2015.

    From the United press release:

    United Continental Holdings expects the entire mainline fleet will be equipped with Wi-Fi by 2015. Continental Airlines previously announced plans to install satellite-based Wi-Fi on more than 200 DIRECTV®-equipped aircraft beginning in 2012.
     
    MaryDarling likes this.
  6. MaryDarling

    MaryDarling Silver Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    113
    Status Points:
    325
    Thanks for the info, everyone. So now I have to decide just how crazy I am to accumulate miles for international travel -- if I need internet access in-flight (and, for my work, I usually do) I can either fly Virgin non-stop or either Delta or American if I'm willing to connect. So, am I crazy enough to give up an excellent non-stop first-class product (Virgin) for the miles I'll get by connecting on a lesser product via American or Delta? Is this the ultimate test of whether I'm a full-fledged member of the miles/points brigade?
     
  7. unavaca
    Original Member

    unavaca Gold Member

    Messages:
    8,547
    Likes Received:
    11,224
    Status Points:
    14,495
    To be clear, you can also do this on United, if you're willing to connect at JFK.
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,231
    Likes Received:
    61,782
    Status Points:
    20,020
    More like a test of your ability to make rational decisions.

    I'm actually more surprised that internet connectivity during transit time is a requirement of the work commute. Or are you planning on "working from home" while on the plane for personal bits?

    I'd also be careful about how much faith you place in the ability to get work done on the plane, depending on what your connectivity needs are. I've been OK once or twice, but had issues several times as well. I no longer trust that gogo will be able to provide sufficient connectivity for me to actually work. Not bad for email and very simple web browsing, but anything more than that has been a challenge IME.
     
    MaryDarling likes this.
  9. dmel

    dmel Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,166
    Likes Received:
    37,276
    Status Points:
    11,070
    +1

    There have been times that I've been able to easily sustain a VPN connection and connect to servers with ssh/vnc without much lag, and others where I couldn't even manage to effectively browse the web due to the timeouts.
     
    MaryDarling likes this.
  10. MaryDarling

    MaryDarling Silver Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    113
    Status Points:
    325
    The internet connectivity isn't a requirement of work, per se, but as an independent consultant, losing a day's internet access each time I do a transcon gets painful. With 5 trips coming up in the next 60-90 days, that's a lot of lost time, so if it's possible to have internet access, it's worth quite a bit to me. (I'm particularly sensitive about this because I recently had a project crisis erupt while I was in mid-air, and somewhere over Colorado I was able to initiate and handle a series of client e-mails that pretty much saved the contract.)

    I agree that the internet connections are good for only e-mail and very light duty (no major downloads), but even with its limits, I've found having access to be pretty helpful.

    As it happens, Delta has a remarkably good price for an OAK-DCA flight in mid-January (approx. $950 RT in F) so it looks like that may be my best option. Even though it's a connection, being able to get to DCA and not having to commute to SFO will save me enough commute time to make it about the same door-to-door as a nonstop.
     
    unavaca and SC Flier like this.
  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,506
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    So you should be able to put a $$$ value on the availability of internet, which would make it easier to compare the options rationally. (of course, there is always the issue of internet reliability).
     
    MaryDarling and SC Flier like this.

Share This Page