Surfing the Web on Long Haul Flights

Last December I flew to Sweden on Scandinavian Airlines, and en route I enjoyed surfing the web at 33,000 feet. The carrier used a service provided by Boeing called ‘Connextions’ and the signal was poor. So poor in fact that it was discontinued that month, and they didn’t even charge me the regular fee of $12.95.

While Boeing’s service collapsed after big losses, this hasn’t stopped Lufthansa from launching anew. The Wall Street Journal reports that the airline is going in the opposite direction from other European airlines who think cellphones are a good idea for short-haul flights.

They’re teaming up with T-mobile to provide a better internet and wireless service and they’ve made a decision I think most flyers will agree with. No cellphones up in the sky.

Southwest and Alaska Air are looking into a combination of services including cellphone use as well as the ability to text message from the air. But the Germans held firm, believing that chatty Cathies on long routes would be an annoyance. “The vast majority told us they don’t want this feature because of the noise and intrusion telephone ringing could entail” said the story. The Internet service should begin by early 2008.