Three words: Lack of power.
I flew SAS flight to Copenhagen 1.5 years ago and paid my $30. But I could only use the Wifi service for two hours because my laptop’s battery wouldn’t last longer than that.
Om Malik opines that this is a time when listening to early adopters didn’t pay off.
Sorry, normal people will do without wifi if they have to pay $30 for two hours.
But, I was talking with some of Microsoft’s Dynamics managers and employees a few months back. That team does a LOT of travel back to Copenhagen. You’d think they would be very active users of the wifi.
I was suprised to learn that they enjoyed the 10 hours “off the grid” where their employees and managers couldn’t talk with them.
Anyway, what killed this was cost. When I met with the Connextion team they told me it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to outfit a single plane with wifi.
The profit margins in the airline industry are razor-thin, if they exist at all (many domestic airlines are losing money) so there was no way they would invest in something like this, especially in the face of rising fuel prices.
I’m sad to see it go.