Airline Wifi Options Decoded

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I recently read this article in Budget Travel and it did a great job of laying out many of the details about airline wifi, so thought I’d share some of the info here.

The main points to note:

  • Gogo Inflight Internet is the main provider for all airlines currently offering inflight wi-fi (AirTran, American, Delta and Virgin America).  Another provider, Row 44, just got FCC approval and has signed up Alaska Airlines and Southwest.
  • The costs are the same regardless of the carrier, but monthly Gogo passes (for $50) are only valid with one airline at a time.
  • On flights to Mexico and Canada, even if your flight has Gogo on it, once your flight travels outside of the US border, you won’t be able to access the internet.
  • International access will be possible in the future.  Row 44 uses satellite technology that can easily extend beyond US borders.

A quick recap of which airlines offer which service:

  • AirTran Airways – all planes on domestic routes have Gogo.
  • Alaska Airlines – all planes flying domestic routes will have Row 44
  • American Airlines – has Gogo on 15 of its 767-200s and is currently adding it to 150 of its MD-80s.
  • Delta Airlines – expected to have Gogo on all domestic flights by the end of the year.
  • Southwest Airlines – will begin installing Row 44 on all planes in early 2010.
  • United Airlines – is working to put Gogo on 13 of its planes
  • US Airways – planning to install Gogo 0n 50 of its A321 planes early next year.
  • Virgin America – Gogo currently on all planes flying domestic routes

I’ve yet to fly on a plane with wireless services – how is it working out for those of you have tried it?

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