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In-Flight WiFi Wrap-Up

November 24, 2008 at 9:00 AM | by | ()

Virgin America CEO David Cush speaks before boarding begins on the airline's WiFi demonstration Saturday.

We were so jazzed during our Virgin America in-flight WiFi liveblog, we never really answered the question: So, how was the WiFi anyway? We can safely say: It was great.

Gogo's service runs on the EVDO network delivered through 92 on-the-ground towers, but it was faster than we've ever been able to pick up on our terrestrial cell phones. It has the potential to get faster as well, Tim Maxwell of Aircell told us, with the addition of more towers--but unless you're on a T1 line on the ground, you probably won't notice any need for improvement.

We had no problem connecting and there were no noticeable interruptions or stoppages in the service--something we reflected on ruefully when we were unable to connect to our in-room WiFi at the W San Francisco the next morning.

If there was any blip to the in-flight entertainment, it happened during the YouTube Live portion of the evening.

After teasing us with the prospect of a segment being broadcast from the plane to The Internets, the powers that be decided to shoot it in first class where "30 Rock"'s Keith Powell and Katrina Bowden were sitting. Because everyone in the aisles rushed to the front to get a glimpse of the goings on, we couldn't see a blessed thing--nor did we hear a peep, except for the beginning and end of the shoot. So you'll have to tell us how it went, because despite being there, we have no idea.

Still, it's hard to question that, for tech-savvy travelers, having access to the internet will change the flight experience completely. On the other hand, now there's no escape from the pressures of the office, so make sure to fly non-wired airplanes when you need a chance to kick back on company time.

Somewhere, Richard Branson is laughing at us.

Related Stories:
· Virgin America Inflight Wifi Liveblog [Jaunted]
· Funky Flight Safety Videos and Scenic Flybys on Virgin America's New YouTube Channel [Jaunted]
· Virgin America coverage [Jaunted]

Archived Comments:

when does it go live on all flights?

is this still like a limited flights only thing? i fly JFK to LAX next Sunday...

It's rolling out now...

It'll be on one plane today, and they'll have the whole fleet "wired" by the middle of next year. Until then, it's luck of the draw, I suppose.