In 2008, American, Delta, Virgin America, and Air Canada announced plans to offer in-flight Internet access through Aircell’s Gogo. Now, United Airlines is the latest carrier to jump on board.
Aircell’s Gogo Internet service effectively turns an aircraft into a flying Wi-Fi hotspot, giving you access to surf the Web, check email, send instant messages, access corporate VPNs, and more on Wi-Fi enabled devices. According to the company, Gogo users should experience speeds similar to that of mobile broadband you’d get while on the ground. Gogo supports a number of Wi-Fi enabled devices, including laptops and handhelds. To see if your device is compatible, click here.
In the second half of this year, United Airlines plans to begin offering in-flight Internet service to customers who are flying on its transcontinental flights between New York and California. Initially, Gogo will be available on 13 Boeing 757 p.s. aircraft that fly between John F. Kennedy International Airport and California’s two largest airports, Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport. From there, United and Aircell will evaluate customer feedback and determine additional rollout plans. Like other offerings, United’s service will be available to all classes of service for a flat fee of $12.95.
Although we’re seeing Gogo launch initially on transcontinental flights, we hope the service will continue to gain popularity and become available on many more flights soon. Of course, extremely short flights may never get in-flight Internet, mostly because it may not be cost-effective to offer the service. Gogo does not become active until the aircraft has reached a minimum altitude of 10,000 feet. Likewise, when the aircraft descends below 10,000 feet, Gogo will no longer be available.
For more information about the technology that makes this all possible, check out the video below.