Online at 32,000 feet

February 27 2005

It works!

Here we are aboard a Lufthansa Airbus 340 in their newly configured Business Class. As promised, firing up the wifi located six access points with the name "Connexion".  Ultimately required a reboot for whatever reason, but once I did, it's been smooth surfing.  I've been online for about 35 minutes.  The connection has decent performance -- uploaded and downloaded a bunch of pictures from the trip, replicated mail, chatted on AIM -- all no problem.

The service is a flat US$29.95 for the full long-haul flight, and there are also per-minute rates.  You can bill to a credit card, or use existing agreements with a few other wifi providers (NTT DoCoMo is one).  Shorter flights are cheaper.

One weird thing is that the seat power outlet also has a 10Base-T and a USB connector.  The 10BaseT connector failed to give me an IP address -- seems weird that they'd wire the seats for what would be faster than this 802.11b connection, but aren't using that.

Oh, and the other weird thing is that you can read my in-flight complaints real-time.  The guy sitting in 11G hasn't stopped talking since we boarded -- geez, I hope he runs out of steam sometime in the next eight hours!

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