As a person who commutes semi-regularly between Connecticut and Boston and DC, I never fly. I either drive or take the train so I can work while commuting. One of the challenges the airlines have is the productivity loss of security, shoe removal, etc. Then there is the typical wait when flights are delayed, the cramped seats, etc.
But really the loss of connectivity is one of the biggest challenges for passengers like me who depend on constant broadband access.
Now Delta will be offering WiFi access between Boston, New York and DC. This will certainly tip the balance back in favor of the airlines for many but still, the requirement of closing laptops and putting away devices during take-off and landing limit the amount of effective work time you have while on a plane. But something is better than nothing and at $9.95 for flights of less than three hours, I believe the service which is offered by Aircell is effectively priced.
Personally I am looking forward to all flights being WiFi-enabled, especially those flights to Asia.