American Airlines is currently examining the possibility of offering in-flight wireless internet access on some of its routes. The first plane which was equipped with wireless internet access was a Boeing 767 departing from New York JFK and en route to the Los Angeles International Airport. Passengers onboard the flight got to enjoy broadband internet access completely free of charge and if everything goes according to plan, the US legacy carrier will add this same service to 15 Boeing 767-200 planes over the course of the summer season.
The brand new WI-FI service is called “gogo” and the carrier’s primary goal is to offer all passengers the opportunity to check their e-mail and surf the net, once the aircraft has reached an altitude of 10,000 feet. Although the service is currently entirely free, as could be expected, American will start charging for it in the coming weeks. The initial price will be set at $12.95. This will serve as a flat access rate for all flights that are at least three hours in duration. Those on shorter flights will be able to surf the net while onboard for $9.95.
The one, key limitation of the WI-FI access is that it will not be possible to make voice calls over the internet. American Airlines has cited fairly widespread opposition on the part of passengers as the main reason why it will restrict this service.
In addition to American Airlines, Virgin America has announced that it too will start offering clients wireless internet on flights during the latter half of the year.
Author's Google+ page