Free Wi-Fi on Select Flights this Holiday Season

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Joys of Holiday Travel - Delayed Luggage

Joys of Holiday Travel - Delayed Luggage

Not sure about you but I’m not a fan of traveling over the holidays. It’s the anxiety of missing a connection, having luggage lost and even worse, spending the holiday in an airport terminal. For those of you hitting the friendly skies this season, here’s something to make holiday travel a bit more cheery: free Wi-Fi on select flights, compliments of Google Chrome.

Free Wi-Fi is like a sweet nothing whispered into a travel blogger’s ear. Google Chrome announced today they are partnering with AirTran Airways, Delta and Virgin America to offer free Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi on all flights within the United States between Nov. 20, 2010 and Jan. 2, 2011, so passengers can experience the Web browser.

Typically, Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi Internet service is $9.95 for one flight between 1.5 and 3 hours and $12.95 for a flight longer than 3 hours. A 24-hour pass can be purchased for $11 and monthly passes available for $34.95.

Sweet! Not only was I able to redeem miles to fly home for Christmas but now I can stay plugged in at 30,000 feet. I’m not sure why I need to be connected to the Net but it’s nice knowing I can at least Tweet, Facebook and catch up on emails, as well as browse. Check out the Google Chrome announcement on www.freeholidaywifi.com.

Christmas Carolers, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Dec. 2007

Christmas Carolers, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Dec. 2007

Bus Driver Saved My 2008 Christmas
Am I leery about flying over the holidays? Yes! I don’t have the best of luck. Here’s what happened in 2004:

Christmas Eve 2004, I flew from Sarasota, Fla., to spend the holidays with family in Buffalo, N.Y. Due to winter snow storms in the Northeast my connection was delayed a few hours. Finally in the air and about to approach Buffalo, our plane was routed to Rochester International Airport, about an hour east, because Buffalo Niagara International Airport was closed due to the snow storm. Upon landing, the airline told us we had to find our own transportation to Buffalo but the main highway was closed due to the storm.

Meanwhile, I had called the airline (Delta) and they told me the plane had landed in Buffalo. Not true! I was standing in Rochester. My mom called the airline, too, and they told her the same thing. The person on the phone said it was my responsibility to find a ride to Buffalo. (Boy, can you imagine if Twitter was around back then?)

Dread sunk in as I thought about spending the night in an airport with a bunch of strangers and enjoying a Christmas Eve dinner of Fritos and Coke from a vending machine. Holding back the tears, I hopped on a bus arranged by another airline heading to Buffalo. It was after 8 o’clock on Christmas Eve and rather than spending time with family this driver was navigating through the night over snow-covered roads so strangers could spend holidays with family. Yes, when the bus fishtailed along icy back roads and plowed through snow drifts, I thought maybe it wasn’t a great idea.

After more than a 90-minute ride we reached the airport and the bus proceeded to the “Arrivals” terminal. Passengers began unloading when airport security began yelling at the bus driver demanding he move the bus. We passengers stuck up for the driver and bullied the officer to let him unload the bus. After all, he saved our Christmas.

What are your holiday plans?

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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