One of the comments from business travelers is they’ll only fly on airlines that provide WiFi onboard. That WiFi needs to be fast and it needs to be dependable. Paying a reasonable cost is a factor but if work is paying for the access then it’s not as much of an issue to these travelers.
I know there are people who hold jobs where they’re sending constant messages between one another, or where access to internet-based systems is necessary. Of course for them, WiFi is a dealbreaker. Sadly, not even if they pick the most reliable airline, there’s still a chance the WiFi won’t be in service, or might be working very slow on that flight.
But what about the rest of us? The ones who use the internet to work but don’t work on the internet? Can we still work on a plane?
I recently had a couple of hours to try and get some work done while flying. I managed to pull my head away from the window to grab my laptop.
I folded down my tray table, which was a workable size. We paid extra for the Stretch seats on Frontier and I opened up my laptop.
Yep, Still working on the ancient MacBook Air and not the brand new iPad Pro.
I decided maybe I’d try to write some articles. Of course, when I pulled up the browser tab for WordPress, it reminded me I had no internet connection.
I just tabbed through the open windows and ended up at a Google Docs file I had open. Amazingly, it was still there. Even crazier was that I could edit the document and it told the changes were being saved offline.
Normally, if I wanted to write anything while offline, I’d just go to my notepad, MS Word or even an email message to type. However, I’d prefer to write in Google Docs. I tried to open an entirely new document, and it worked.
I typed away until the end of the flight when I needed to shut down the computer (I copied all my work to an email, just in case this didn’t work).
When we got to the airport, I connected to the airport WiFi (thanks to Austin Airport for the great free WiFi). My Google Doc uploaded to my account as normal.
I was amazed that I could be working on a web-based app with no internet coverage. I looked into this and it’s a feature of Google Drive apps when used with the Chrome browser.
If you aren’t connected to the Internet, you can still view and edit files, including:
- Google Docs
- Google Sheets
- Google Slides
Save and open Google Docs, Sheets & Slides offline
Before you turn on offline access
Open Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides offline
- Open Chrome. Make sure you’re signed in to Chrome.
- Go to drive.google.com/drive/settings.
- Check the box next to “Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline.”
Save Google Docs, Sheets & Slides for offline use
- On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
- Right click the Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides file you want to save offline.
- Turn on “Available offline.”
To save multiple files offline, press Shift or Command (Mac)/Ctrl (Windows) while you click other files.
Preview offline files
- On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
- Make sure you turn on offline access first.
- At the top right, click Ready for offline .
- Click Offline preview.
I may be the last one to know about this but after hearing so many complaints about not being able to work on planes with no WiFi, I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to get some work one on this flight. I didn’t have a power plug but since I had the WiFi and Bluetooth off, my battery only went down to 65% for the 2 hours of work
I was always able to work by just typing text into notepad but the process of copying and pasting the text, and lack of proper formatting just made everything so tedious. The ability to look at my current documents, edit them if necessary and compose completely new ones while offline is a new thing for me and one I’ll be using again in the future.
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just two or three times a day). Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group, where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary