Fly the Wi-Fi Friendly Delta Skies

Fly the Wi-Fi Friendly Delta Skies

Starting tomorrow and running through the end of the year, you’ll be able to enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi on select Delta flights. The service is made possible by Delta’s rollout of Gogo Inflight Internet service, which is launching on six of the airline’s aircraft. The initial rollout of Inflight Internet includes five MD-88 aircraft flying Delta Shuttle routes between New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Boston’s Logan and Washington’s Reagan airports plus one Boeing 757 flying throughout Delta’s domestic system. Although not available yet, Delta has plans to launch the service on more than 300 Delta domestic mainline aircraft.

Tim Mapes, Delta’s senior vice president of Marketing, tells us more about what we can expect: “Next year when Gogo is available on our entire domestic mainline fleet, our customers will have access to the most extensive Wi-Fi network in the sky, making the time they spend with us on board even more productive and entertaining.”

As you probably noticed from the first sentence, Delta is celebrating the launch by providing the Wi-Fi access free of charge during the Dec. 16 - 31, 2008 promotional period. After this, we presume the rates will return to the normal price, which are $9.95 on flights of three hours or less, and $12.95 on flights of more than three hours.

For flights that offer the service, you’ll see a Wi-Fi hot spot decal like the one to the right adjacent to the boarding door if Gogo Inflight Internet service is available on your flight. Additionally, a Delta-Gogo instructional card will be available in each seatback to give you details on how to sign up for the service.

Gogo can works with many Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and PDAs, to provide access to the Internet, corporate VPNs, email accounts, as well as SMS texting and instant messaging services.

Delta expects 10 aircraft to be in service by the end of this year; the company will continue to roll out Inflight Internet across its domestic fleet, starting with MD-88, MD-90, Boeing 757, and Boeing 737 aircraft, and then expanding to the remaining domestic fleet of Boeing 767-300 aircraft by late 2009. Delta and Aircell will begin the certification process for Delta’s Northwest subsidiary in early 2009 and plans to install Gogo starting in late 2009.

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Only 10 planes? Well at least they are starting to roll this out.

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Imagine airlines start to rent out netbooks onboard to make use of the onboard wifi during the flight for those who don't bring laptops. Maybe someday.

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This will be a nice feature for long flights or business class passengers.

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