APR 18 | Tigerair Australia - TT665 | A320 | MEL-CBR | VH-XUH - Trip Report planned mid-2018.
MAR 18 | Qantas - QF853 | B737-800 | CBR-MEL | VH-XZO**Discussion about my first inflight Wi-Fi experience
– Was easy to connect to as there was an explanation card in the seat pocket. I found the speed to be reliable and fast and it was free. Don’t recall it dropping out at all, but we were flying over land the whole way and not in a remote part of the country.
Using Wi-Fi on an aircraft though means, especially in Y made me very aware of having no privacy when texting! A window seat meant I could angle the device to try and get some though. There was a note on the terms and conditions that your web browsing is monitored (for obvious security reasons as well as the said marketing). You also need to add your details e.g. name and seat number to the login, so nothing is anonymous, but this is clearly implied or stated at the outset. No voice or video calls and respect for others around you is a condition of use.
I was having so much fun with it there wasn’t much time to do anything else like read, listen to music or look out the window much. As the route I was on was very familiar to me I wasn’t missing out on anything else new anyway. After sending texts, some with photos of my window view, and browsing the web – A.net, I checked out our position on Flightradar24 and watched the approach and landing, and also listened (with headphones on of course) to LiveATC.net – both were already downloaded on my device. This was a surreal experience - sitting back in the cabin and one that e.g. just five years ago I wouldn’t have thought I would ever get to experience one day, or at least for free and in Y. It was sort of like I had just been given a free upgrade! I closed my eyes for a few minutes, lulled into a relaxing short power nap during the descent. The most interesting thing about this live tracking, although obvious of course, was how many aircraft were around us – it is easy to forget IMHO as you can’t see them. I didn’t get time to browse anything else, by then we had landed.
I attempted to attach a few photos here – but Google Photos will not cooperate. I need to get this working for my TR or it won’t happen.
The only personal issue I have with Wi-Fi is that if something is going on, on the ground or at the airports, that it could disrupt the cabin dynamic by causing panic or just conversations about events that you don’t need to hear before touchdown. Like anything, there are plusses and minuses to new technology. I guess too that the crew would also not have as much influence over what they say on the PA that might affect the flight - going on elsewhere, because everyone can get their own news sources. This is unless the crew disable the Wi-Fi at their discretion, which I am sure they can do if they felt it was appropriate based on information to hand.
That - and influence of any other e.g. cyber vulnerabilities that transmitting Wi-Fi could bring – this technology that is not an essential part of an operating aircraft makes me worry a bit about these advances. However, saying that, I did read on the Qantas website Roo Tales
from 2016, that they are looking to use Wi-Fi for technical reasons like reducing turbulence, real-time maintenance, delays and reducing medical diversions. (Source: https://www.qantasnewsroom.com.au/roo-t ... -the-wifi/
After all this though, I can really take it or leave Wi-Fi though in that I wouldn’t pay for it and the speed and the reliability would have to be decent either way or I just wouldn’t bother. There is also IFE and books and magazines and downloaded movies and music on my own device to keep me occupied, distracted or block out any noise for the duration.
So I look forward to using it again sometime if I get the opportunity - hopefully on a longer flight! I’ve never been a fan of ‘the hump’ look of Wi-Fi equipped aircraft, but the distraction of the Internet does help pass the time and also can help alleviate anxiety in this way too as an obvious distraction to ones surroundings, not that I felt any before or on this flight.