The number of optional extras that airlines can bolt on to your flight has been increased today. American Airlines (in the US) has unveiled their new inflight broadband service. Yes, they’ve been talking about it for a while now, but today it is a reality. The service is offered by AirCell, under the brand GoGo and has been rolled out as a 6 month pilot on American Airline’s 767-200 aircrafts connecting New York with Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami. The service costs around $13 for a flight which is around what you’d expect to pay for an hour’s Internet use in an airport or hotel here in the UK!
I personally can’t wait for this to be available more widely. I haven’t read about how AirCell deliver their service but if they use a satellite connection to supply the service, then offering it on transatlantic might be a possibility. It’s one way to make a long trip more bearable. Interestingly, VOIP services will be blocked over the connection, but I’m sure people will find a way around that 😉
Addition: Just read that AirCell may have capacity problems providing this over a large number of planes, but an alternative by HarrisCorp is emerging. Read more here