Tuesday, June 30, 2009
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON JUNE 30, 2009 (on a blog hosting site that's not very friendly about exporting their data)
Most times I'm asleep before takeoff. The routine, honed after 20+ years of heavy traveling and more than two million miles in the air, is more a result of muscle memory than thought. Backpack stored in overhead - check. Newspaper and reading materials folder in seat-back pocket - check. Earbuds firmly inserted to block noise and memorized announcements - check. Turn off phone - check. Wake-up when drink cart rolls down the aisle - check. Log into WiFi to get some work done - check - WAIT - what? WiFi? Up here? Yup.
After years of isolation at 35,000' and the ability to effectively block work-related communications thanks to a lack of Internet connectivity the wall has come down - or gone way, way up, depending on your point of view. It took years before the net's reach extended outwards from the home or office but now that's pretty much routine - wireless cards, hot spots, tethering a mobile to your laptop, etc., all keep us connected when we're on the horizontal. But now the reach has gone vertical. Just last week I had sky-high WiFi. And loved it.
Most of my flying has been spread across the three major airlines thanks to relocations that took me to Dallas (American), Chicago (United), Atlanta (Delta) and L.A. (take your pick). I'd never flown Virgin America before but had tried Virgin Atlantic for a couple of hops across the pond to London and liked it so I figured it would be worth a try.