Some corporate travelers appreciate that air travel lets them pause and refresh. Since planes can often fly above most wireless antennas, you’re not going to get emails, texts, phone calls, or that Facebook Messenger tone until the wheels touch down.
Flying can be a perfect opportunity to kick back, turn on the music or a movie and tune out for a few hours.
“Yeah right,” says any seasoned road warrior – modern air travel is actually becoming less of a tranquil time-out and more of a head start in which you can prepare presentations, go over materials, write email drafts, and wait until you’re in proper range so you can communicate and be communicated with.
Another requirement of modern air travel is room for your electronics components. Decades ago, you might have had a movie to enjoy during your flight, but those have mostly gone the way of elegant meals in the air.
Today, passengers have access to everything from TV shows to a variety of movies, sometimes in the seats in front of them. Even better, after 2013, you’re allowed to use your personal electronics a little longer, due to modifications to a rule requiring everything to be powered down during take-off and landing.
While airlines seem to be cutting back in other inconvenient ways, they don’t seem to be scrimping on the available electronics components, either while in the air or at the gates.
Here are some examples of what kind of devices, electronics parts and interesting technology you may encounter.
- Charging stations. Airports have been slow to offer charging stations, so it’s not uncommon to see a cluster of anxious passengers sitting or squatting around a traditional two-hole plug. But United recently has taken the initiative to install 500 charging stations at terminals around the country. This makes it easy and convenient to make sure laptops, phones, tablets, and electronic readers are all charged before the flight. These have room for up to six electric plugs and two USB ports. American Airlines has even gone further and offered charging stations aboard the plane in first class and business class seats.
- Wi-Fi. Not long ago, Wi-Fi was something you could only access on the ground. But these days, most airlines have figured out how to turn themselves into mini-hubs that passengers can connect to for a certain charge. It isn’t necessarily cheap or high speed, but it’s Wi-Fi — and that’s all that matters to on-the-go business travelers. The data can come from connections to satellites, from passing certain mobile broadband towers along the route that are pointed into the air or staying under 10,000 feet. Making phone calls are still dicey, and often can be done via costly, short satellite calls, or shaky Skype conversations, but Internet seems to be a go.
- Streaming entertainment. We know you’re supposed to be working, but how cool is this? Airlines like American, Delta, Southwest and US Airways are going far beyond having one movie that everyone watches or even the movies built into the little screen in the seat in front of you. A new feature, called “Bring Your Own Device” entertainment, allows passengers to download content to their tablets, laptops or smart phones, and watch it during your flight. There’s no need for an Internet connection either – according to the BoardingArea blog, all of the movies, shows or music are all stored on the local server of the plane. You may be required to download the airline’s app first or submit billing information.
Overall, the best example of modern electronics components in the air is actually the plane itself – a Boeing 737, its smallest but most popular plane, is built with 367,000 pieces from hundreds of suppliers and a labor force of thousands. Whether you’re seeking to purchase parts at major airline level or for a smaller endeavor, consider Verical for your electronics component needs.