Road Warriors Rejoice

Travelers have won a small victory with Delta Airlines’ recent announcement that all domestic flights will now offer Wi-Fi access. For business travelers (or for those who just can’t bear to remain unplugged for the duration of the flight) this is undoubtedly a welcome announcement. However, like everything else on airlines today, there will be a fee. (Remember when buying a ticket meant that you could actually take luggage on your week-long trip?)

Delta’s initial announcement shows that the charges will run $9.95 for flights of three hours or less and $12.95 for flights over three hours. Of course one expects to pay a premium for services while a captive customer of the airline, but these charges rival the Internet service charges in many hotels. At least in a hotel you get the full 24 hours! I probably won’t bite. I can generally get by with an iPod and a DVD or two for long flights.

While Wi-Fi access will be a boon to some, they’ll still have to live without their cell phones in flight – at least for the foreseeable future. I’m actually pleased about this one. Anyone who has sat beside a loud cell phone talker will know exactly what I mean!

Well, at least they can enjoy their Wi-Fi.


People goof. It happens sometimes. But there are goofs, and then there are GOOFS! ALA is providing wireless network access for this year’s conference. GREAT! Only problem is, it doesn’t really appear to be there.

According to both the ALA Program Guide and Website:
“Once again the ALA will be offering Wifi internet access to all attendees of the Annual Meeting at no charge. Wifi “hot zones” will be in ALL {emphasis added} of the public areas (lobbies, meeting rooms, and ballrooms) but not in the exhibit halls. Persons with Wifi-enabled devices will be able to access the internet simply by connecting to the “ALA2008″ network.”

So far I’ve been to meetings in three hotels, and I have yet to find this seemingly-mythical ALA2008 network. I’ve looked. Oh believe me, I’ve looked. So where is the breakdown? Did ALA mean to provide Wifi only in the convention center? Surely not. There are meetings in numerous hotels, and people need network connections. Did ALA somehow forget to make appropriate arrangements with the conference hotels? Again, surely not. That would be a pretty big oversight. I wonder just what exactly happened?

ALA and some of its various units have been encouraging people to blog about what’s happening in the conference. If you enjoy reading or writing blogs, this could be an interesting way to expand a meeting’s discussion beyond the boundaries of the room. But . . . to blog you need a connection. If the connection isn’t there, nothing else can happen. Try again next year, ALA.