I’m en route to Boston right now, cruising at 36881 feet on a Virgin America flight WHILE USING THE INTERNET. OMFG, the future is here.
Here are the stats you might be looking for: I did a 3 speed tests and on the first found 1.3 megabits download and 0.3 megabits upload with a latency of 121 msec. That’s pretty decent, especially for $12.95 for the whole 5-hour flight. I’ve been working over email, watching YouTube videos, downloading big PDFs (about 45 megs each), and generally having a good time. The one quirk I found was that I couldn’t use SSL on my SMTP server, but SSL worked find on my POP3 receiving server.
I’m trying to get some critical production tasks done, and the rep I work with emailed me to call her. Thinking I was so tricky and cool, I fired up Skype and dialed out. Massive failure. For some reason the sound is horrendously choppy and thin sounding. It was completely unusable. I didn’t get a chance to speak and see how I sounded on the other end. I tried dialing the Skype test call, but I only caught every other word. So much for my dreams of in-flight video conferencing while yelling over the din of jet engines.
I did two additional speed tests throughout the flight and these are the results:
Download: .43 megabits
Upload: .29 megabits
Ping: 153 msecs
Download: .98 megabits
Upload: .26 megabits
Ping: 118 msecs
All tests were through speedtest.net through the Dallas server.
With those pings I’m not going to be playing any Counter Strike on the flight, but overall, big ups to Virgin America. I highly recommend the service, except that if everyone uses it, I assume the bandwidth will get divided. So use it as long as you’re not on a flight with me.
On a side note, there was an ad for in-flight Absinthe from France. I asked a flight attendant if it is the real stuff, and she said yes. Does anyone know if it’s truly the good stuff? I wasn’t going to mix Absinthe and work email. That just couldn’t be a good idea.
I give the in-flight internet a 140/160 Mana Points on the account that the Skype thing is very strange. I also don’t know if you can network to other computers on the same WiFi up here for some LAN action, although since WiFi is no longer verboten, it seems like an ad hoc network would do just fine.