American Airlines and JetBlue to Offer In-Flight Wi-Fi
It appears as if this whole Wi-Fi on airlines thing is finally taking off (sorry, couldn't help it). Four months after announcing that it intends to put Wi-Fi on some of its planes, American Airlines is starting to reval some specifics on the plan. Wi-Fi access to a broadband data connection will be provided by Aircell (which has also partnered with Virgin) on transcontinental 767-200 flights starting in 2008. The best part is the price, which we were worried about back in August when we heard the first rumblings of this program. How much, you ask? Well, it's going to cost $0. Thats right, it's free.
Not to be out done, JetBlue yesterday announced that it, too, would be offering free Wi-Fi on some of its planes -- as long as you're using it to access your Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger, or BlackBerry Mail. This amounts to nothing more than a tease. The airline might as well not offer anything at all.
So far, efforts to bring the Internet to the air have failed. And pretty miserably, we might add. Connexion and Lufthansa (among other international airlines) teamed up a few years ago, but the service was shut down last December since no one seemed willing to pay for it.
Will these new efforts succeed where past ones have failed? In the case of American Airlines, we'd say there is a strong possibility, since it's offering access to any site, just like on the ground! And it makes a lot of sense to focus only on long-haul flights, since a long 14-hour flight to Tokyo is exactly when you need to be getting online.
Let's just hope people don't start using Skype or other Internet phone services and yap away the hours.
- American, Lufthansa Adding In-Flight Wi-Fi
- Virgin America Details In-Flight Internet
- United Adds Cool Gadgets to First and Business Class