Air Traveler's Tech Perspective
If you count yourself among the ranks that racks up more frequent flyer miles than you know what to do with, chances are you're anxiously waiting for the day that reasonably priced, always-on Internet connectivity becomes a reality -- both on the ground and in the air. We've asked a leading expert on travel and air transport to help us provide perspective on the present and future outlook for airport and in-flight technology. Here are highlights of our conversation with Aram Gesar, Editor of AirGuide Magazine and AirGuideOnline.
Getting Connected At The Airport
Unless business takes you to small markets or you're a member of an airline airport club, you're probably still in search of Wi-Fi nirvana. "Large airports have been slow to establish wireless networks because of their size, but smaller airports are offering free Wi-Fi to attract business travelers," says Aram Gesar. Check out Wififreespot.com for a list of all the airports offering free wireless access. At the larger airports there are often a variety day pass and one-time use options available ranging from $5 to $15. Aram suggests Wi-fihotspotlist.com to locate hotspots in major metro areas. Looking to the future, Gesar says, "we can expect to see technology in airports to mirror what frequent flyers use at the office and home, but this will be a slow evolution based on customer feedback and demand."
Climb To 50,000 Feet And Never Miss A Beat
In-flight connectivity holds the most productivity promise for business travelers, and many would be willing to pay handsome fees for access. However, adoption isn't moving as quickly as some domestic travelers may hope. Aram Gesar indicates that Connexion by Boeing, which offers high-speed wireless access on planes for fees ranging from $10 to $30, "is currently available on 65 aircraft by 11...