opinion

Porn on Planes

Stephen Yagielowicz
There’s a move underway that many travelers will welcome as being long overdue: airlines are beginning to deploy Internet access services for their passengers.

JetBlue Airways is now offering free e-mail and instant messaging on one of its aircraft; with Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Virgin America and other carriers expected to roll out enhanced Web services for around $10 per flight, beginning in 2008.

While the quality and quantity of these services and service offerings will vary greatly, the promise of flying broadband hot-spots is a tantalizing one that will make business travel more productive and travelling for pleasure more enjoyable.

That is, until somebody decides to pull up an adult website on his seat-back monitor, and then pull out something he shouldn’t at 35,000 feet…

While network systems will easily be able to block sites that make use of RTA or ICRA tags, as well as others that could be available on a network blacklist, some passenger’s access to adult material is inevitable – as is the response of the fellow passengers that will no doubt disapprove of their viewing choices.

I for one eagerly anticipate the day when reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi access is commonly available on commercial aircraft – but I do not look forward to the additional black-eyes that the industry will receive over the indiscretions of some of its customers.

“The Mile High Club” should require two people for admittance; not just one person with a decent wireless connection…

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