American Airlines began offering Internet access on long-haul domestic flights on Wednesday, making American the first U.S. airline to offer full in-flight broadband.
The world’s largest airline said its passengers on Boeing 767-200 aircraft can pay $12.95 for Internet access on nonstop flights between New York and San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, and New York and Miami. The Wi-Fi service is called Gogo and is provided by Aircell.
Aircell is also outfitting Delta Air Lines with Internet access. Earlier in August, Delta said it would launch Wi-Fi on some airplanes by fall and expand the service to its entire domestic fleet by next summer. It plans broadband Wi-Fi access for its entire domestic mainline fleet of more than 330 planes. Virgin America is also planning to launch Gogo service by year-end.
Other internet enabled airlines taking different routes to Wi-Fi in the sky include;
- JetBlue Airways with limited wireless access on one of its aircraft. JetBlue and other airlines, such as Continental, use LiveTV’s satellite-based television programming service. JetBlue won rights to 1 MHz of the 800-MHz spectrum last year for their internet service.
Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines are also testing onboard Wi-Fi using Row 44. Row 44 leases Ku-band satellite transponders from several operators, but is managed through HughesNet.
Their Ku band transponders provide downlink speeds of 81Mbps and uplink speeds of 1.6 Mbps. Passengers get a Wi-Fi connection for Internet, e-mail, VPNs, and stored in-flight entertainment for $10 for up to two hours, $15 for 2-5hr and $20 for more than 5hr. United Airlines is considering various Wi-Fi providers but hasn?t announced any tests or commercial launches.
- OnAir, a joint venture of Airbus and SITA, uses Inmarsat’s new spotbeam satellite. Air France and OnAir have been trialling the first international inflight mobile phone service since 17 December 2007. SwiftBroadband from Stratos also uses Inmarsat’s BGAN service. Full global coverage is expected by the end of 2008 with the certification of the latest satellite, Inmarsat I-4 F3, launched yesterday.
Related DailyWireless stories include; Bill Banning Airplane Calls Moves Ahead, Aircell: We Be 4G, JetBlue Buys Airfone, Row 44: Cleared for Take Off, FAA: Go For Aircell Launch , Aircell Vs Row44: Two for Two, FlyFi Takes Off, Lufthansa & AA Trying WiFi — Again, Inflight Phones Banned by FAA?, AirCell on Virgin by 2008, Wireless Voice on Airplanes? Yes & No, AirCell Demos Inflight WiFi, Aircell for Planes, FCC Rules on Airplane Cellular, Connexion On Again?, Dis Connexion.