To WiFi or not to WiFi?

Here at Virgin Australia, we’re proud to have been the first Australian airline to offer WiFi internet access on board international flights. And with the service now rolling out across our domestic fleet, it’s easier than ever for busy business travellers to stay connected and wild-eyed parents to keep little ones entertained on long flights while you in enjoy Virgin Australia’s outstanding on-board service.

However, some would say that one of the major benefits of air travel was the ability to not be connected to the internet; to escape from emails and the online world if only for a few short hours.

To connect or disconnect? We’ve prepped a list of (not so) important pros and cons with staying connected while you fly so that you can decide for yourself. And don’t be alarmed; no routers were harmed in the writing of this article…

WiFi pro: you can now check your email while you fly. This is undoubtedly a great value add for busy business travellers who hate to miss a moment of work and want to stay in on all the email action they’d be getting if they were in the office. Onboard WiFi means you can smash out some quick responses and get your inbox under control in the relative peace of the aircraft cabin.

WiFi con: people can email you while you fly. We already know that if not managed properly, email can be the scourge of our ability to be productive throughout the day. Without wi-fi inflight, we had a genuine excuse for not instantly responding to the latest demand on our time and could instead use that time to catch up on other things (sleep, for example). Now, your boss knows that if you’re travelling with Virgin Australia, chances are you’ll be connected and unable to avoid her requests…

WiFi pro: never miss a moment on Instagram. For those of us who love to ‘keep up with the Jones’ on social media, onboard WiFi means you can catch up on all the latest Instagram gossip without the nagging feeling of guilt that you should be doing something more productive with your time.

WiFi con: you’re addicted to Instagram and have just lost your enforced away time.  The social media addiction struggle is real and let’s face it, your will power is virtually non-existent when it comes to Instagram. You want to say that you won’t check it, that you’ll use the onboard wi-fi for something more productive…but who are you kidding?

WiFi pro:  you can now catch up on the latest Netflix offerings while you fly. Not all of us are keen to spend our entire flight on email when there are plenty of other things to do with our new-found connectivity…like watching Netflix! Flying has the potential to become an important productivity hack thanks to connectivity, providing us with the opportunity to indulge in our guilty pleasures in the air and freeing up our time on the ground for more productive tasks.

WiFi con: your flight ends half way through an episode and you’re left hanging. Again. As annoying as being interrupted mid-episode can be, we think this one is manageable; you know how long your flight is, and you can check how long your show is. Calculate the time carefully and be sure not to embark on a new episode that cuts across your flight time unless you’re prepared for disappointment…

On balance (and in all seriousness), we think the wi-fi pros take the cake here. Having the option to stay connected while you fly is a truly marvellous value add to Virgin Australia’s already impressive service offering. It offers us the flexibility to stay online and get that critical piece of work or email away, enjoy our favourite shows and keeping connected with our friends and family, on social media or otherwise. What’s more, if you don’t like it, then don’t connect. I mean, you’re not that addicted to Instagram…right?

Currently, Virgin Australia is the only Australian airline flying internationally with onboard WiFi, with the service being progressively rolled out on its domestic fleet. Which means you can fly through your work, check (or ignore!) your emails and stay in touch from 30,000 feet. Visit the Virgin Australia website for more information about our onboard WiFi offering and to book your next flight.


Words by Rebecca Walker - Published 15 April 2019
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