I was just reminded of the time when Boeing invited a load of bloggers (including Chris Pirillo, Scoble, Eric Rice, etc.) to go and try out their Connexion service providing 5MB/s internet access from 30,000 feet. And it occurs to me that we still don’t have enough solutions for this yet.
Hey Boeing / Virgin!! If you want a transatlantic tester for anything, feel free to drop me a line! 🙂
Anyway, today I found this story from 2001 (!!) where they announce that Virgin Atlantic will have wifi by the years end (but using a caching store and forward system, as opposed to direct access for messaging and file transfer) – but here we are in 2006 and it’s still not there on Virgin.
Now, I’m a big fan of Virgin Atlantic for all sorts of reasons, but they really do let themselves down (surprisingly) when it comes to consumer technology. They have ALL the right mojo to be leaders in that field. I’ve even heard Richard Branson effing about the fact that they didn’t come up with the iPod. I love the fact that they did some podcasts about destination cities. Though they have not been updated in quite a while (hey, Richard, give us a call 🙂 )
Also they have a deal with Linguaphone, where they could be producing ‘linguacasts’ for passengers to zap onto their mp3 players and learn the local lingo. These could also all be pumped through the seat back entertainment systems (Linux-Based) through an in-flight aggregator. Hmmm.. ideas…
Back to the wifi issue : Virgin has an option on the seat-back thingy which says internet, but I have never had it work ever. I think it’s a walled garden anyway as opposed to full web access.
Since November, I have travelled 35971 miles with Virgin Atlantic, in Economy, Premium Economy and Upper Class and not once have I had any internet access provided. This is crazy.
Also, there was not even any wifi access available in the brand new Virgin Upper Class Lounge. Shocking! They had a few pcs to play with, but who can anything useful on a machine that’s not their own these days?
Come on Virgin! I expect much better than this from you, these days.