Blog Post

Coming Sometime Soon: WiFi to American Airlines

American Airlines has just signed a deal with AirCell, to offer in-air broadband access. The tests will begin in 2008, initially on transcontinental flights, but if all goes well, then WiFi could be offered in domestic flights.

I wonder if other airlines are paying attention. WiFi availability is a crucial decision in what cafe I patronize, and similarly I am careful in picking hotels while traveling. In the future, WiFi might become a deciding factor when it comes to picking airlines. American Airlines is not my favorite airline but their WiFi offer would make me consider them before United Airlines, despite all the frequent flyer miles I have with UA.

10 Responses to “Coming Sometime Soon: WiFi to American Airlines”

  1. Just a note = Transcontinental means internal flights (they don’t leave the country)
    My bet is limited routes for this phase, since that will mean installing only a small number of ground towers.
    Check Out Row 44 – satellite based coverage coming sooner that Aircell, and it’s real broadband.

  2. ok, the market has spoken. fine. but if this works, can they at least ban skype and other p2p voice?!?! bad enough jethro’s lovehandles are already spilling into my seat. i don’t need his uninteresting conversations intruding on me as well.

    i wonder if my company will let me use microsft exchange up there…?

  3. “What’s the best way to ruin a vacation, fly American Airlines”.

    This has been a quote of mine for nearly 20 years, so I can only hope that AA won’t charge for WiFi. This is an excellent opportunity for AA to begin a positive change in their services.

  4. Lufthansa had a similar service last year but it was cancelled just after some months, I wonder why. The cost was around 25 euros, which I thought was a good deal for a 10 hour flight. Of course you could even make skype calls. I used it everytime I had to go to Europe.

  5. it was only a matter of time, and frankly, i can’t believe it has taken this long for it to happen. being on an airplane is one of the few times that people are ‘forced’ to be unconnected (a nice change of pace i usually welcome).

  6. Yep. There is no more captive audience for Wifi than passengers on an airplane. For me, I’d happy pay $20-$50 extra per flight, depending on length of flight. Should be a big moneymaker for airlines and a welcome perk for passengers. I wonder how (and if) this relates to JetBlue’s purchasing of the rights to a certain spectrum which lets them do airborne wifi several months ago. I haven’t heard anything about that since the initial announcement.