It truly is impressive how things have ebbed and flowed over the past 30 years. When I first started working in the 80’s we had X25 packet networks that connected main frame computers located all over the world. Then for a while in the late 80’s and early 90’s things shifted to PC’s and private networks (LANs) and the world was disconnected for a while. That was followed by the Internet which reconnected the world, but access was not free or globally available.
It’s now 2016 and WIFI is available in most places for a nominal fee (or free) and we are once again connected, perhaps better than ever before. This particular WestJet flight has internet for $8 CDN for the duration of the entire 6.5 hour flight.
The LCD monitors in the back of the seats are gone and I can connect to the local wordpress server for entertainment and Internet access. I guess normal humans wouldn’t pickup on the fact that it’s a linux based wordpress server, but just after we took off, I got an Apache error while the server was initializing and I’m a geek, what can I say. The wordpress theme is one that I have used before so there you have it.
The local server has movies, tv shows, in-flight stats and basically everything the chair back systems used to have. People are encouraged to use their own devices, so there are less moving parts (No chair back monitors to fix) and the system is for the most part, open source software on a standard linux server.
I’ve been flying for work and pleasure for 30+ years and I can honestly say that this flight has been one of the best experiences that I have ever had. Every single West Jet employee has greeting me with a smile and genuine concern for my experience as a customer.
Good work guys…..