From the first time I flew on a United 747-400 in business class in 2004 to now, I always make it a point to sit upstairs. But now I have a whole new reason.
I’ve been on four United 747-400 flights this year. Three flights have been downstairs (two in first class, one in economy class) and my flight home from Germany this week was in business class upstairs.
There is still something so much fun about flying upstairs. It is quiet, more intimate, and the side bins provide ample personal storage. On United at least, the 2-2 configuration sure beats the 2-4-2 in business class downstairs. Those were my reasons for sitting upstairs. Now I have a new one.
On the first three 747 flights this year, the internet did not function. At points it crawled along, but for the bulk of the flight it was unusable. But the internet functioned perfectly throughout the flight on this week’s trip home on the upper deck.
Maybe it was just coincidence, but I figure it was because we were closer to the internet source. If you look at the most wi-fi equipped aircraft you will see a small dome on top of the fuselage like the image below–
This houses the onboard internet. On a 747 with the extra level, it does surprise me that it is more difficult for the internet to reach downstairs. That’s no different than being further from a router at home and experiencing lower wi-fi speeds.
If I am totally off-base, I’m sure you’ll promptly correct me, but it seems to me if you want a more stable internet connection on a 747 (and presumably A380), you need to sit upstairs.