Scott McCartney on some interesting trends:
Airlines say Wi-Fi usage-the percentage of passengers paying for Internet access—is picking up, driven partly by the popularity of tablet computers and partly because more planes have the service. Currently about 8% of passengers use the service, up from 4% at the end of 2010, according to In-Stat, a research and consulting firm. That likely will reach 10% of passengers by the end of this year, In-Stat says.
In-Flight Wi-Fi usage growth is no surprise. We are addicted to being connected just about everywhere we are. Why should an airplane limit that addiction? My opinion on this is two-fold. Sure, it is great to get your e-mail, work on your website, post photographs, etc. while you’re in the air but as someone who travels for work, I relish being cut off from the outside world for a while.
Since United announced a push to install Wi-Fi on a number of their aircraft, I will see if my perception and opinion changes over the next year. I tried to use in-flight Wi-Fi on a trip from Seattle to Frankfurt on Lufthansa in December but it was inoperative the entire time. On a flight of that length, it would have been quite nice.