The days of sitting for hours on an airplane with nothing but a book and portable music player to entertain you are over (unless you like to read and listen to music, which I do). Thanks to "airplane" mode on gadgets and relaxed FAA rules, you can use any of your gadgets in flight.
Even better, more airlines are adding Wi-Fi to their planes so you can have Internet access at 30,000 feet. It's like you never left the terminal. Unfortunately, that Wi-Fi access could eventually come at a scary price.
The airline Wi-Fi upgrade is happening at the same time as an on-going FAA upgrade called the Next Generation Air Transportation System. It's basically overhauling how every part of the airline system from radar and air-traffic control to voice communication and weather systems communicate.
Here's a cool graphic from the GAO's report showing the changes.
Connecting everything through IP networks is a big step forward, and it would be like you creating a "smart" home with connected appliances, thermostats, lights, and gadgets. However, while there will be a lot of benefits, it also creates some serious dangers.