Travel Tip – International Flight with WiFi

Image by miniyo73
Image by miniyo73

I have been known to use the Gogo Wifi on American flights within the US. I spend enough time on airplanes that it’s actually a pretty good investment. Instead of having all that downtime, I can use all that flight time to keep in touch with friends, write blog posts, keep an eye on email, etc. The connection isn’t the same as being home, or even in a hotel, but it’s at least usable for some of those tasks.

So recently, when I boarded my American flight from Sydney to LAX, and I saw that the Panasonic WiFi was available on the flight for just $19 for the entire 14-15 hour flight, I figured I’d try it out.

Unfortunately, the connectivity over the Pacific is not great. I used it for a little while and could barely even have a conversation over Facebook Messenger with my wife because the connection was so slow. Browsing websites took forever. Downloading email was likewise slow. Then, a little later, it seemed to be working a bit better. Images on web pages finally started to load, and I found it to be pretty usable, until once again, it wasn’t.

So, while it’s not very expensive, if you’re expecting to get a whole lot done on the flight, you may find yourself disappointed. If you just want to send iMessages while you’re on the flight, and not really spend a lot of time browsing, you may find it a better option than being completely unavailable for that period of time.

On the other hand, there’s something to be said for being unreachable for that long. It’s a good chance to catch up on all the movies you never have time to go see in the theater. 😉

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