I just returned from Berlin on LH710. LH710 is one of the long-haul Asian flights that is supposed to have the new Boeing wifi connection. I took an early flight to Frankfurt so I would have time to use broadband in the lounge. I arrived in the lounge with several hours before my flight and I found a lounge full of very frustrated businesspeople unable to log into the wifi network. The landing page wasn't even showing up. The customers were irate, but the staff in the lounge just sort of shrugged. (I'm not blaming them...) I was able to find the Vodaphone hotline. It was "conveniently" a German toll-free number which didn't work from my mobile phone. I borrowed the phone at the reception and called. After about 10 minutes of waiting and 15 minutes of convincing the first tier support guy that it wasn't a problem with my computer, (He kept saying that English language Macintoshes had problems sometimes) I was connected to the next tier guy. He was much friendlier and he explained that Frankfurt sucked for them because they had to go through the airport network once and it often caused problems. He said he'd try to figure out the problem and call me back. Two hours later, there was no call and I was beginning to get withdrawal symptoms. However, I knew I would have broadband on the plane so I was able to bear it. I read a newspaper.
The plane was practically empty since it was new years eve. I anxiously waited for the plane to it cruising altitude. As soon as the fasten seatbelt sign went off, I had my computer plugged in and started searching for the connection. I couldn't find it. I asked a flight attendant about it. She said that the plane wasn't equipped. HUH? There was a USB port and an ethernet and instructions on connecting in the seat pocket. In the past I've connected from LH710. I was in shock. What was I going to do for the next 10 hours? I did email, watched a movie and slept.
As we were landing, the flight attendant came and asked me if I enjoyed the flight and if I had any feedback on their service. I just stared at her. It reminded me of the one-line joke: "Other than that Ms. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?" Looking at the happy face of the flight attendant, I realized that non-addicts probably couldn't imagine my frustration. I also reflected on how one year ago wifi on a plane was still a dream for me. I thought about how much progress had been made in the last year. I also reflected on how addiction and obsession will never be satiated.