I have been traveling for business for several decades now. In years past, it was a period of downtime, sometimes to review printed papers or just to read a book. That was not a bad thing. These days, the availability of WiFi throughout the travel experience, makes it possible to get some work done and also seems to make the time pass more quickly.
My most recent trip is a good example. Living in the New Hampshire Seacoast, we have a great option in the form of C&J. C&J runs coach buses from the Seacoast region to Logan Airport in Boston every hour. Comfortable ride, leather seats and free WiFi. For $46.00 round trip with free parking at the Portsmouth Transportation Center, you can’t beat it. If I’m flying extremely early in the morning, I can catch about an hour of sleep on the ride. If it’s during the work day, I can work on the ride, which I am doing right now.
Delta had been my number one airline for most of my life and I still like Delta, especially for long haul flights overseas. However, over the last ten or so years, jetBlue has become my number one choice. The range of direct flights and timing are just about perfect for where my business takes me. More importantly, jetBlue’s FlyFi inflight WiFi is fantastic and free! In these days of fee after fee for most airline services, having free WiFi on a 3+ hour flight is a huge competitive advantage.
On this trip, I was able to work for a few hours on my outbound leg, clearing my email and finishing up some tasks before landing in Florida a little after 9 in the morning last Thursday. Today, I worked almost the entire three hour flight home. The free WiFi is perfect for email, web browsing and even accessing some of my company’s line of business applications. There is also a paid version if you want to stream video, but I don’t need that for work purposes.
Most airlines today offer inflight WiFi. They key differentiator for me is that jetBlue has made the choice to provide their customers with a free option that will suffice for most purposes. I appreciate that and it’s one of several reasons jetBlue was earned my loyalty. When I still fly Delta, or any other airline, I will typically purchase WiFi service in order to get work done, but it bugs me to pay for it when I can basically have free WiFi service to and from the airport as well as my destination. It makes traveling more productive and I appreciate that.
Another interesting development, albeit a bit of a sideline to this post, is that on this mornings flight, it was announced that the FAA has banned the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from US aircraft. Any passenger who was carrying the device was asked to identify themselves to the flight crew. This is obviously in response to these devices catching fire without warning. While the ban makes sense, the enforcement of it does not. Airlines really need to ask passengers to show their device during the boarding process, in order to identify anyone traveling with one. Either that or you should have to show it at the TSA checkpoint. Unfortunately, relying on people to voluntarily identify themselves is not effective. Hopefully anyone with one of these devices will be smart enough to replace it by now and not try to bring one aboard an aircraft, no matter how low the risk.
Safe travels everyone.