Review of AirTran’s Wireless Internet

I tried AirTran’s Internet service on a recent flight. The provider was GoGo. The trip from Atlanta to Seattle had about 3 hours of usable time for $12.99. It was decent enough for email and web. I was able to establish a Skype connection, but not hold a conversation.

The transit speed was about 1.6Mbps both ways, but it seemed to have some sort of use limitation. When transferring files, they would go at 1.6Mbps for the first 2 megabytes, then drop instantly to around 24kbps.

The latency varied greatly between 120 and 2000 milliseconds, making SSH connections hard to use. Additionally, packets were sometimes returned out of sequence. Service quality seemed to come and go, perhaps a sign of our proximity to ground stations or the ebb and flow of user traffic.

Connectivity was nice, but there still isn’t enough room on the seats to type, so don’t expect to get work done – just kill boredom with YouTube.
64 bytes from icmp_seq=688 ttl=53 time=778.819 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=689 ttl=53 time=128.547 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=690 ttl=53 time=162.566 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=692 ttl=53 time=156.998 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=693 ttl=53 time=165.286 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=694 ttl=53 time=181.222 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=695 ttl=53 time=124.276 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=696 ttl=53 time=138.904 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=697 ttl=53 time=146.648 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=698 ttl=53 time=174.594 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=699 ttl=53 time=427.510 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=700 ttl=53 time=1039.029 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=701 ttl=53 time=159.956 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=702 ttl=53 time=179.433 ms
777 packets transmitted, 711 packets received, 8% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 119.437/303.578/2274.701/289.599 ms

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