Just last week I live tweeted a pillow fight between my boys. Now I am sitting on a plane – typing this post using my HP Vivienne Tam Netbook and GoGoInflight for WiFi on Typepad. On the plane, we just finished book reading time for the kids, then did some writing – now my twin 6 year olds are watching Disney's "Underdog" (their new favorite movie) on the family laptop. My 10 year old son is playing guitar hero on his Nintendo DS lite. The guy in front of me in the airplane has his seat moved back as far as he can – so the top of my netbook touches the seat because of the angle. He also just complained that my kids were opening and closing their trays (which I did stop) – but felt like asking him why he wants to sit in MY LAP because his seat is so far reclined.
But I digress.
I finished my reading as well (Laptop Mag and Wired) and wanted to have my own screen time now that my boys are having theirs. So I decided to use the GoGo Inflight by logging into their website from my computer browser, signing in, paying for a daily pass – then my Wi-Fi was enabled. The response time is good. The site published a handy before you go checklist and availability list to read before you get on the flight. Participating airlines listed on the site are Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta, United, and Virgin America. You can use the service not only on Wi-Fi enabled laptops, but also on Wi-Fi enabled devices (like my BlackBerry Bold, iPhone or iPod Touch). On my last flight when I was having an issue I twittered about it – and the GoGo Infight folks replied via their Twitter account (good support).
I had a chance to talk to the GoGo Inflight folks during my last trip to find out more about the service and the company. Basically, there is a Wi-Fi router in every GoGo Inflight enabled plane – that receives transmissions from their company cell towers. The signals go "up" instead of the downward transmissions of regular cell towers. I find the technology quite amazing -and just happy that my flight downtime can now be spent taking care of online tasks.
****Am taking a break from blogging to take my twins to the little boys room, ah the glamorous life of a blogger who also happens to be a mom!
Well, my screen time is coming to an end of the flight – I need to get the kids something to drink and eat (boys are always hungry). I recommend that families flying with kids also limit screen time, switching off with other offline activities. But when all else fails and kids are getting squirmy, a video helps keeps kids quiet and happy. DVD's can be checked out from your local library in advance of the trip, and most laptops now have video players to view the DVD's. For those advanced iTunes users, videos can be downloaded through the iTunes store to the iTunes desktop application beforehand and viewed. Personal video players are also becoming more reasonably priced. The options are unlimited for those that use the GoGo Infight services for Internet access, kids can play online games or watch TV shows online. I am also looking for other ways to obtain and play videos on laptops (i.e. freeware video players). There are probably also ways to transfer movies from home video libraries to the computer for moblie use.
For those that have twins or multiple kids – Frys
has $2.99 video splitters that allow more then one earphone to be
plugged in. So the sound does not bother the other passengers, even if
they are reclining on your LAP!
Listed below are the prices for using GoGoInflight (as of 3/8/09):
LAPTOP device(s) exclusively and/or switch from LAPTOP to MOBILE device: Wi-Fi capable
· $12.95 – Daytime flights more than 3 hours
· $ 9.95 – Daytime flights less than 3 hours
· $ 5.95 – Red-Eye flights (Flights departing after 9PM and arriving before 7AM)
The costs are fixed per flight, if your daytime flight is longer then 3 hours and you want to use the service at all during the flight (even for a shorter time) – then the charge is $12.95.
(If you would like to switch device types, purchasing your Gogo session from the laptop
device will enable you to sign out and switch to another device on one purchase.)
MOBILE device(s) exclusively: Wi-Fi capable
· $7.95 – Any flight length.
(This purchase can only be used on Wi-Fi Mobile devices.)