Wireless Access on Planes?

You’re sitting on the plane 2 hours into a gruelling 18 hour flight to Singapore. With a jaded sigh you turn wearily towards the couple sitting next to you, hoping to relieve the boredom by starting a little conversation with your fellow passengers. Earlier they had seemed friendly enough, but now only a few complimentary G and Ts later, they’re both snoring away like two drunken lumberjacks.

Long haul flights suck, but not to worry there are usually a few good movies to watch that help pass the time right? With an expectant smile you flick through the entertainment guide, wondering what “Widget Airlines” is offering this month for the amusement and delectation of their eager airline passengers.

Surely not! You stare down in abject disbelief at the B movie titles masquerading as an in flight entertainment program…..

“Alan Quartermain and the Onyx caves of Klavos!!”

Followed by a Jackie Chan double bill.

Namely two King Fu/Shakespearean fusion movies entitled:

“The Fists of Shylock!!!” and “Enter the Hamlet!!!!”

You tear off your headphones and close the magazine with disgust, then glance at your watch…..15 hours 55 minutes to go……Surely there must be something available to help you pass the time?

Your eyes fall longingly on your trusty notebook computer, safely tucked away in it’s laptop case. If only you could surf the web. You have a ton of emails to reply to, and some new web sites to check out…..That would help the journey pass quickly….

Well thanks to Singapore airlines the future of in flight entertainment is looking much brighter. The airline, in partnership with Connexion by Boeing, have announced the installation of high speed internet service on their fleet of long haul aeroplanes.

By 2005 passengers should be able to surf the net and watch live international TV on their laptop computers. The company plans to initially offer the service on its Singapore to London route in the first quarter of 2005. Eventually they hope to expand the service to selected flights worldwide.

German airline Lufthansa currently offer their Munich to Los Angeles passengers high speed internet access (via wireless enabled laptops). China airlines, Japan airlines, Nippon airlines, Scandinavian airlines as well as Singapore airlines have also signed up for the program.