Okay, there’s been a lot said about planes allowing Wi-Fi to be part of their on-board service. Some people abhor the idea – preferring to spend 14 to sometimes 24 hours entirely away from any kind of earthly contact. And I most certainly get that, especially if you are going on a serious holiday and don’t want anything at all to do with bill reminders and work related correspondence.

Others, on the other hand, are more than happy to spend a couple of those hours sending emails, sorting out online ‘stuff’, paying bills, clearing the inbox, downloading their fave shows, responding to those emails you may not have already, cleaning up your social media platforms, keeping abreast of news. Well, you know the drill.

And yes, I am definitely one of the latter.

So when I walked on to a plane the other day – a Virgin aircraft, long haul, flying from Sydney to Los Angeles for a business trip – I got a very nice surprise.

Knowing that the plane was leaving at 9:30 AM, I was pleasantly surprised when one of the cabin crew said over the audio that Wi-Fi was available on this particular flight. As it was a Monday and the beginning of the working week – Monday is always a day for any worker that is fraught with a zillion emails – many of them unnecessary, many not, it is also a day of lots of questions needing answers for the week ahead and others that just need very quick deletion.

Anyway, it was a very easy way to connect. You went into settings, then to WiFi, and bang, it took you to the payment portal and there you were. Connected! I opted for the $20 approach – which would last the entire flight (if I wanted that of course) or there was an $8.90 option for one hour of Wi-Fi access. I did my maths – which was pretty much a no-brainer – and away I went.

I spent a few hours on Monday morning on line, cruising around 30,000 feet, did what I had to do, then happily put it away before getting into the serious business of eating, watching a movie and trying to sleep in order to acclimatise my body to the new time zone in about eight hours time.
The Wi-Fi service is available for every flight class by the way, so it’s egalitarian approach placates every kind of traveller.

What I loved about having used wifi in the air, was once I landed in Los Angeles, there weren’t a whole lot of pings, emails and notifications that needed responding to. It actually made me feel a lot fresher and clear headed and ready to greet the reason why I had arrived here for my business trip.

The other advantage was, I didn’t have to get into a cab at turn on ‘global roaming’ (meanwhile racking up those dollars spent!) and potentially spend an hour doing what I quite comfortably and happily had already done whilst mid-air.

Effectively, I had already had a Wi-Fi working today like I would have would have if I had actually been on terra firma.

I think flying with Wi-Fi if is a godsend – particularly if you are going on a business trip and you really can’t afford to lose an entire day‘s worth of connectivity. Before you wonder whether people were blabbering on phones or doing any FaceTime, Skyping or video calling – there was not one bit of that going on.

Wi-Fi in there is available on a number of other international carriers but both Virgin and Qantas are getting into the swing very quickly. So in my humble opinion, and as a pretty frequent work traveller, the whole idea totally rocked.

*Melissa was not a ‘guest’ of Virgin, but part of a media trip hosted by Princess Cruises