Flight #1 of Connected Around the World in 8 Days – Lufthansa LH 457 (LAX-FRA)
As a member of the @Altitude team, I can tell you that we’re always looking for new ways to share information about the services and global availability of in-flight connectivity. In a recent brainstorming session the question was asked, “Is it possible to fly all the way around the world only on aircraft with connectivity?” Excited by this idea, the team immediately began researching routes and schedules of the various international airlines offering connectivity. We discovered that not only is it possible; there are multiple routes for such an endeavor! Thus began the planning for “Connected Around the World in 8 Days.”
I began this amazing journey boarding the Lufthansa B747-8 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) for flight LH 457 on Thursday, March 27th. Window seat 85K on the upper deck was to be my workspace as I chronicled the passenger experience of using Lufthansa’s FlyNet broadband satellite connectivity offering as I crossed the Atlantic to Frankfurt, Germany.
For those of you who followed my flight on Twitter, you saw me posting photos of my window view, a screen shot of the iPass login by which I entered my credentials to access the internet, and the flight tracking map as I crossed over the United Kingdom en route to Frankfurt.
I didn’t get much sleep on this overnight flight, as I was too engaged with all my activity using the in-flight Wi-Fi. At one point during the flight, I was connected with three devices – my laptop, iPad, and iPhone – doing three different things. On my laptop I was finishing up a PowerPoint presentation and sending some email for work (including the completed presentation). On the iPad I was taking photos and posting them to Twitter. And on the iPhone, I must confess, I was posting status updates to my personal Facebook account, telling my friends and family about the flight and how well the Lufthansa crew was taking care of me.
Lufthansa has the largest international fleet equipped with in-flight connectivity, with over 91% of their long-haul aircraft offering the FlyNet services. That number is steadily growing, as they have recently begun equipping their A380 aircraft with FlyNet.
The breath of the FlyNet is also quite impressive – including Wi-Fi, mobile services (excluding voice calls), and the recently added streaming of live sports TV channel Sport 24 to your personal electronic devices (PEDs). Although I spent all of my time enjoying the FlyNet Wi-Fi service, I’m looking forward to experiencing both the mobile services and live Sport 24 channel the next time I fly with Lufthansa!