Blogging at 39,000 feet. Unfiltered.

After sprinting from terminal B to terminal A in the Atlanta airport so I didn’t miss my connection to Orlando, it dawned on me. This flight could have WiFi. My flight from Chicago to Atlanta didn’t, but this one might. I saw little teasing banners all the way down the jet bridge. “Check out gogo,” one taunted. “WiFi now onboard,” another boasted.

Okay, I have been anxiously waiting the day when I could blog from 35,000+ feet and it has FINALLY ARRIVED. I’ve been saving gogoinflight codes for months, patiently biding my traveler time until I would have the opportunity to tweet “I’m so high” and then wonder if everyone thinks I do drugs. I don’t. I just want to tweet I’m so high because, well, I’m THOUSANDS of feet above the Earth!

I’d like to thank Gini Dietrich for the gogo code she tweeted earlier this month – it worked, and I’m blogging, for free, up high.

Clearly I’m ecstatic about this but I am also a little fearful. There isn’t anywhere, but on an airplane, that I can totally disconnect for that period of time. Everywhere else, I’m on. I may choose not to be active sometimes, but on a plane was the only place that I COULDN’T be on. I wonder if I’ll miss that quiet time. Probably not.

But maybe. Because I’ve written the start to some killer posts in the air, and countless drafts that never amounted to anything. But I was writing them in Word, then copying and pasting them over. Didn’t have time (or the opportunity) to get distracted.

For now, I’m totally into it. I imagine as long as online time on a plane is fun, I’ll enjoy it.

And, for the record, can I just say this was the CUTEST flight crew ever? They did the safety instructions to the tune of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and made it all rhyme-ey and fun. It seriously was the best start to my holiday ever.

Now, if only I could post this before I land. I can’t – because my dad and I have managed to keep me coming home for Christmas a secret, and we’re surprising my mom and sister. By the time you read this, it will have already happened because I don’t want to take the chance on them seeing this post before I get home.

So, WiFi on planes… do you love it or do you hate it? Are you like me and totally stoked that now you can blog your flight away? Are you having mixed emotions like I am?

  • doniree

    I pretty much feel exactly how you do about this. I LOVE the productivity of “working” at 35k feet and have written some fantastic things up there without distractions or interruptions. But being connected from that high up? Passes the time SO quickly and I love that. My first in-flight WiFi experience was from MSP-NYC in August on an AirTran flight (FREE WIRELESS), and I loved it. I played Scrabble on Facebook and GChatted my way over the Great Lakes and into Manhattan. But my favorite of all my favorite blog posts? Those were written “unplugged,” if you will.

  • Kat_ksk

    I really like that “disconnected” time when I'm traveling… either on a plane, Amtrak, even in a car. Zoning out, watching the land and clouds pass, reading, watching bad inflight movies…. So I don't know if I would use the wifi. Well, I say that, but I'd probably end up checking email and twitter and stuff — no self control.
    I can see how it's good for actually productive people though :) Have a great trip!

  • Tim Jahn

    Where does it end though? I just came across an article on CNN about Ford bringing wi-fi to their cars in the near future.

    Planes, trains, now automobiles? Will there be a time where every single physical space we interact with will be digitally connected? While that's quite sad when you think about it, I think the real sad part is that we have no self control. I hear people all the time saying how if the wi-fi is there, they can't discipline themselves not to connect.

    I'm a huge tech guy and am digitally connected most of the time. But I'm really curious as to what this will all be like 20 years from now. What will my kids expect? Will they expect their first car to have wi-fi, all planes to have wi-fi, and their first cell phone at 8 years old?

  • DShan

    I'll never have mixed feelings about WiFi. Earth should have it, everywhere, all the time.

    Merry Christmas!

  • Jamie Favreau

    I think Wi Fi on planes would be good for a long flight… IF you are going across country or leaving for a new one that is thousands of miles away. It would be a good distraction but I think there comes a time when you should disconnect. Since I have gotten my smart phone I seem to be linked to it too much.

  • nicoleantoinette

    Totally conflicted. I love having hours on end where no matter what insane, my-mother-getting-hijacked-by-a-herd-of-bison type of thing happens, I'm unreachable. It's like what regular life was like before the internet threw up all over us.

    But! I love the internet! Love! Split personality internet disorder! Twitter! Twitter! Twitter!

  • martinis or diaper genie?

    ok I MAY have to disagree with you on the cuteness of singing flight crews. I experienced this on Christmas and I was LESS than thrilled. HOWEVER you don't know me (yet) and I am a bitch.

    heart you.

  • Royce

    I can't believe no one has made the “welcome to the Mile High (blogging) Club” joke yet… so there you go

    I'm extremely excited that your flight crew pulled off the Twas the Night Before Christmas safety instructions presentation, that would be awesome to listen to

  • Tara

    I love it, although I used to love being unplugged for those few hours and actually reading a book offline. However, it's fun to still be connected 30,000 feet in the air.

  • Mike Siete Cinco

    Wifi should be everywhere. And it should always be fast. Having said that, it's up to us to step away from it whenever needed. I saw on twitter that you we're going to disconnect for the week. Since I've met you online, I don't think I've ever seen you take any kind of extended break, I'd be curious to hear your experience after a week of no blog/fb/twitter etc. (don't know if that's possible with your line of work)

  • Lisa Owen

    Syd, I have to admire your geeky restraint to keep your visit a secret. While my initial reaction to being woke up by Santa lacked the “Oh honey, I love you” tone of our normal existence, “NO NO NO F bleep bleep bleep” really did mean you were the best present EVER. I checked your ticket for cruise time and you DO have wifi on that trip as well, and we are all waiting for you with big happy smiles on our faces!

  • aliceinwonderland

    total thumbs up for blogging at any K feet above the solid ground! :) You Go, Sydney!

  • aliceinwonderland

    total thumbs up for blogging at any K feet above the solid ground! :) You Go, Sydney!