RSS feed Get our RSS feed

News by Topic

BizReport : Internet : September 20, 2012

Airline ups the ante with free mile-high Wi-Fi

Today's air travelers want Wi-Fi and airlines are luring passengers with the promise of mile-high browsing. While some passengers would be prepared to pay a small fee, and airlines debate how much to charge, one airline has thrown down the gauntlet with the offer of free in-flight Wi-Fi.

by Helen Leggatt

JetBlue_Airways_Logo.pngThe contents of a leaked JetBlue memo have today been confirmed by the airline. From the start of 2013, aircraft in the company's fleet equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi will offer the service for free.

Recent research from airline search engine found that the majority (65%) of U.S. travelers think it is important that airlines off in-flight Internet access. However, almost half (49%) said they don't expect to pay extra to use their Internet connected devices and 27% would pay no more than $5.

So, that means JetBlue will become a serious option for those wanting to stay connected during air travel.

But, the free offer may not be available for long.

JetBlue, who will use ViaSat to provide the Wi-Fi service, will only provide the service for free until it become available on 30 aircraft. After that, email and browsing will remain free but streaming of films will attract a fee.

The rather exuberant, leaked memo that was first reported by The Verge earlier this week also reveals that JetBlue's Wi-Fi will be faster than its competitors.

"Our Wi-Fi will be lightning fast. In a series of tests, ViaSat's staff was able to load 10 web pages through our satellite service in an average of 1 minute, 18 seconds! The second-fastest service, commonly deployed by our competitors, took as long as 8 minutes, 42 seconds!"

Tags: airline industry, in-flight Internet, travel industry, travel trends, Wi-Fi trends

Subscribe to BizReport



Copyright © 1999- BizReport. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of BizReport content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
BizReport shall not be liable for any errors in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.