How important is it to you to have free wifi on planes? Are you able to stand being disconnected from the office for 1 – 6 hours? Or do you have to be connected at all times? And if it’s that important, are you willing to pay for in-flight wifi, or do you sit and suffer because you don’t want to pay $10 for a few hours of connectivity?
Delta Airlines is beginning to offer a rare incentive for their fliers and giving us all free wifi on their flights. Last year, they began offering free texting to their passengers, and this year, they’re upping the ante.
In a recent Travel Market Report article, Delta Air Lines said it would provide the free amenity, and according to Delta CEO Ed Bastian, it would be faster than what we’re already used to.
Speaking at the Skift Global Forum in New York recently, Bastian said he didn’t know of anyplace other than in an airplane that you can’t access free wifi, so he wanted Delta to be the first to provide it to passengers. When the fee would be dropped remains unclear, but it is expected to be well-received.
We’re definitely in favor of free wifi, but it’s critical that you follow strong security measures in order to keep your computer and your personal information safe from prying eyes.
- Make sure you use a VPN (virtual private network) to encrypt all web traffic to and from your computer.
- Make sure your malware protection and firewall are current. If you don’t have any, buy some.
- Never do any banking or transmit sensitive financial data while you’re on a free wifi system. If you need to do it, wait until you’re on the ground, and do it on your phone with the wifi turned off. Cellular data is harder to intercept.
- Be sure the wifi system you want to log onto is the right one. There are many imposters that look legit — Free_Airport_Wifi may look legitimate, but you can’t always tell. Make sure you know the official name of the official wifi, and ask someone who works there if you’re not sure.
These steps are always important, even if you don’t travel very often. But if you’re going to use free wifi, whether it’s at a coffee shop, the airport, or even a plane, you have to take steps to make sure you don’t fall victim to cybercrime.
Are you looking forward to Delta’s free in-flight wifi? Or do you prefer to stay unconnected while you’re flying? Some people want to answer emails, while others just want to read a book. How about you? Tell us your thoughts on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream.
Photo credit: Becky Stern (Flickr, Creative Commons)