Tonight I am flying from St. Louis to Las Vegas on Southwest Airlines Flight #768. It’s been a long day and before I boarded this flight I was dreading flying all evening and getting back home near midnight; however, I’m actually in a GREAT mood.
It’s not because I’m knocking back a Bloody Mary, although that is helping my mood, and it’s not because the plane is only half full, which is certainly a positive, and it’s not because I’m sharing my row with Alicia, an intelligent, attractive USC student, which is a major positive…nope, the reason I’m elated right now is primarily due to the fact that I’m online and writing this blog while flying at 40,000 feet. That’s right, I’m WiFi in the night sky! I’m knee-deep in the Internet and my only care is will this flight last long enough for me to get this written and posted.
Some may not share my enthusiasm, but allow me to explain why this is so significant.
American business is Internet dependent. Our entire economy is driven by the ability of business people to connect on-line. The need to problem solve, discuss, plan, propose, and close the deal, in real-time is absolutely critical for commerce in our Brave New World of digital communications.
The problem is that communications stops …when we fly. And yet, that is the perfect time for the business traveler to reconnect. Those countless hours in an aluminum cylinder traveling at 525 miles per hour where we must sit alone and unconnected are killing productivity. Southwest Airlines will command the business traveler market if they have consistent, reliable WiFi.
I know they are working on it, and perhaps they have turned a corner. If so, this toast is to the people who are making that happen. There is nothing more valuable to the business traveler than time, and WiFi while traveling is gold to the rank and file business person.
Think about this. You might be reading this before I am back on the ground. What if all your competitors were that productive? Would you be worried?