Blogging From 32,000 Feet

This blog post is coming to you from 32,000 feet in the air. I am on board Alaska Airlines flight 17 on my way to Seattle from Miami. Alaska Airlines has inflight Internet and I figure I would test it out with my first blog post from the sky!

I’m making this post with my Apple iPad and I must admit, it’s a pretty good blogging tool. That is if your blog post is all text and don’t have any images. I’m using the WordPress iPad app to write this post.

The inflight Internet speed is extremely slow. I tried to download the iPad speed test app to check the speed but have given up waiting for the app to download. At my home, I would be able to pull this app down in about five seconds. It’s been ten minutes and I’m only about 15% done on the download.

I’ll update this post when I get a chanced to run the speed test. Hopefully, the app will finish downloading before I land!

*Update – Speed Test finally downloaded (and I figured out a way to post images using the WordPress app). The ping was 28ms, upload speed was 0.28Mbps and download speed was 0.68Mbps. That’s pretty damn slow.

63 thoughts on “Blogging From 32,000 Feet”

  1. That’s awesome John!

    They do not complain for you to put away electronics?

    1. John Chow says:

      If they’re offering inflight Internet then it’s safe to assume you can use a computer.

      1. Makes sense. I guess it’s only at the takeoff/landing on the flight… DUH!

        1. Hey John,

          It’s great that you can use iPad for making blog posts and even include images from that height.

          As for the slow speed that’s a drag but maybe they’ll improve it soon. Have you mentioned it to them?

          In the last few days I’ve noticed that your pages load way lot slower than before. Could it be that you have some unwanted stuff on your server?

          This happened to me once when the iVote! plugin caused tens of thousands items of spam and the server was all but prevented from doing anything faster than the slowest snail on the planet.

          When I’m reading one of your posts and then try to go back to your home page it takes unduly long time to get there.

          Perhaps you can check it out.


          1. Sorry the name of the plug in should read VoteIt!

          2. John Chow says:

            Ya, I’m looking into the performance isse. I moved the blog over to two servers. See how that goes.

          3. If talk about blog performance, maybe you can try out Lighttpd instead of Apache 2. But using lighttpd web server might cease the functionality of your plugins (some plugin only works on apache).

          4. Dan Lew says:

            I wonder if the speed is quicker at 12,000 feet or so as you are getting lower to land?

          5. d3so says:

            Did you buy your own personal servers or are you still with bluehost?

          6. PPC Ian says:

            I’m with BlueHost but as traffic ramps, I will have a need for better performance. Would be curious what John/everyone recommends.

          7. John is using Amazon I think but let him speak to that. He was also using something else and now he’s mentioning of using two servers.

          8. Lakhyajyoti says:

            Thanks John.Now It become faster.

          9. krillz says:

            It’s not as easy to be providing internet or even phone connections up in the air.. one should be happy you even got to .68 mbps hell it’s a lot faster than my first adsl connection some years ago.

            For browsing the net, it’s actually a reasonable speed, can’t see any need for them to be boosting it just because once in a while someone with greater upload/download speeds comes along.

          10. Funny you should mention that. I noticed the same thing. The return to the home page takes FOREVER. Or it feels that way anyhow. Anyway, this is an inspiring post. Even if the speed was slow, it’s still progress, John!

    2. Maybe They support Wi-Fi. Right John?

    3. My network on Ground PC is nearly 0.5mbps u/l and 1mbps d/l

    4. Alex Dumitru says:

      How would that be internet useful ?

  2. That bring a whole new meaning to the “mile high club”.

    As for the internet speeds… we are pretty spoiled these days. Was not long ago where our computers were making screeching noises and we were excited to see just a web site come up. How things have changed.

    1. d3so says:

      Yeah, dial-up was something else.

      1. Alex Dumitru says:

        It’s a bit better than dial-up 🙂

        1. I am sure in coming years we will be able to see more fast connection here as well.

  3. zakton says:

    I wonder how many years until we get high speed internet on a plane?

    1. haha_dude says:

      is that all you got to wonder about ? 🙂 i am sure you wont be even spending 1% of your lifetime on a plane.. so use the internet on land.. that should get u thru life easily.

      1. Lakhyajyoti says:

        Cent percent agree with you.

    2. d3so says:

      My guess is in about half a decade.
      It could be longer though.

    3. Alex Dumitru says:

      You really need that badly ?:)

    4. James M. says:

      Even if the technology is present, they would still probably limit the speed to what it is now. Security issue, I’d assume.

  4. Azam says:


    1. PPC Ian says:

      I must agree. It’s very cool to be so productive while traveling. That’s what the dot com lifestyle is all about!

      1. As I read somewhere … to give your best you need best tool as well.

        That’s why we need ipad, iphone kind of things which can make our task more easy and comfortable.

        1. Dan Lew says:

          They should have a business class section for bloggers 🙂

          1. PPC Ian says:

            That would be sweet! I agree with ZK, the tools pay for themselves very quickly.

          2. Thanks Ian for the support.

        2. Lakhyajyoti says:

          I need a ipad badly.But it is still not launch in India.Hope it’ll come in Diwali season.

  5. Not too bad, especially considering that at places in the world, this is considered as broadband and a fast connection and you are getting it at 32k ft in the air!

  6. Abhik says:

    Man!! you are calling it slow?
    Guess what!! I’d be happy if I get 150Kb/s download speed on a 2Mb/s connection here at my place using broadband.

    Well, this is by far the highest post I have ever seen 🙂

  7. Quite literally living the blogging ‘high’ life!

  8. Great to see you to blog from the Airplane. I hope the flight here will have internet connection too.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      I don’t believe I have been on a plane with Internet before. That would really be great! Sometimes, however, it’s good to have no Internet so you can really get down to work with no distractions!

      1. Alex Dumitru says:

        Neither did I, though I’ve never had long flights, so I didn’t really feel the need.

  9. ER says:

    I’m going to have to give the WordPress for iPad app a try

  10. PPC Ian says:

    How cool! I wrote two blog posts on my iPad during my last vacation to Hawaii and agree it’s the perfect blogging tool. 🙂
    All the best,

  11. Dan Lew says:

    Wow, great they have internet, didn’t realise how slow it is though, lol

  12. I’m going to give wordpress app for ipad a try.
    Well It’s really cool to know that you blogging from aeroplane. 🙂

  13. Mike says:

    I have tried inflight internet, but its so slow that its not worth it. You might be better off to just write up future posts and send them later.

  14. I wonder when could I blog from 32,000 feet.

  15. Wiguan says:

    Well, I don’t think my country airline, Malaysia Airline have inflight internet or I just don’t know.

    But it’s wonderful to blog form a 32,000 feet.

    It’s even wonderful if you can take some picture onboard and post it. 😀

  16. fas says:

    Do all sites open up or they have some sites blocked?

    1. John Chow says:

      All the sites I went to opened up.

  17. Cool! I never saw someone blogging from 32k feet!

    1. You saw John actually doing it? I guess you meant knew of someone. John may not have been the first person doing it but he may have been one of the first of writing about it.

  18. Blogging from 32000 feet, Now that is some great inspiration for doing blogging

  19. Can’t believe it. It is really happening. You must be very excited.

    I think you are the first one I have seen so far.


  20. Recky Nunez says:

    Any sort of internet like that will most likely be quite slow haha

  21. A good invention and a way forward for blogging. If we can blog from the plane, our long 8 hours and over flights will also add some value and meaning to our blogs.

    Thanks for letting us know this John. Next time i am going for a flight, I will ask if they provide in-flight wireless and when they ask where did you hear that from, I will source John Chow and throw it to their

  22. it’s really cool to post from such a height….

  23. Krystle says:

    Wow, we don’t have inflight internet yet in our country’s airlines. I think the fact that Alaska Airlines already offer inflight internet is already a big step for them. Maybe in a year or they would also improve the speed.

    1. Lakhyajyoti says:

      We also don’t have inflight internet in our country.

  24. Yeah it sounds slow John but isn’t technology great in the sense that we can even do that? Blogging from the sky, the mile up maybe you are on to something lol. Pretty cool stuff. Hopefully they can speed things up down the road so it is just like being in our home office.

  25. Durkin says:

    Awesome place to post from!!

    Its good to see internet becoming more and more accessible.

    Shame I’m so out in the sticks and can never get a fast speed! 🙁

  26. Essays says:

    Downloading speed of .68 Mbps is like old time dial up connections. Technology world has yet to do more to improve surfing from airplane.

  27. Alex Campain says:

    sweeet… i need one of those ipad i’am looking to buy one maybe a use one but one that works at 32000 feet!

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