Today, there are plenty of “legacy” airplanes that don’t offer in-flight Wi-Fi connections. (In-Stat notes that just 25 planes offered the service in 2008, though that number is growing.)
So as a free, “no fee” service to you, Mr. or Mrs. Frequent Business Traveler, here are five signs that there’s probably not going to be operable Wi-Fi during your next flight.
1. You sit down in your seat and can’t help but notice the well-used ash trays in the arm rests.
2. Asking the flight attendant (who looks a lot like stewardess Elaine Dickinson from the movie “Airplane”) about Wi-Fi produces this response: “Why what?”
3. You notice the pilot is wearing a vintage aviator cap and goggles, his jacket says “Pan Am Crew,” and he’s using a Ham radio to talk to the air-traffic controller.
4. Once on the plane, the only SSID name that appears in your “Networks in Range” list? jimbos_linksys.
5. The supposed wireless antenna is actually a set of 1970’s-era TV rabbit ears (with aluminum foil wrapped around them) duct-taped in one corner of the cabin.
Thomas Wailgum covers Enterprise Software, Data Management and Personal Productivity Apps for CIO.com. Follow him on Twitter @twailgum. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. E-mail Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.