by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
airplanes, in-flight internet, wifi

aircell, american airlines

Press Starting To Notice WiFi-In-The-Sky Claims Not Being Supported In Reality

from the keep-on-waiting dept

Over the last year or so, a number of airlines have announced that they (finally! really!) will be installing internet access on airplanes for customers to use. Some have announce very aggressive rollouts, but Joe Brancatelli over at Portfolio has noticed that the rollouts all seem way behind schedule -- and quotes an exec at American Airlines (one of the airlines who promised an aggressive rollout) saying that there's clearly something wrong with the technology. Brancatelli tries to get Airgo, one of the main providers of WiFi-in-the-sky service to comment on the delays and: "Aircell isn't talking and refused repeated requests for an interview. Instead, its public-relations agency referred me back to its press releases, most of which said Aircell would be operating by now." He also notes that, despite public claims from various airlines that they'll aggressively wire up a bunch of airlines, those same airlines either haven't submitted an application to the FAA to wire up certain aircraft, or only just submitted them. In other words, despite public posturing, your WiFi connection in the sky may take a bit longer to arrive.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Karl, Aug 20th, 2008 @ 8:23am

    "Aircell has everything but service. Earlier this year, American Airlines wired 15 of its Boeing 767s, but the internet access has yet to be turned on for commercial use. It's barely been tested. According to American, Gogo was used in June on two "dress rehearsal" flights and tested on two additional flights last week. Yet the airline won't publicly commit to a date"

    Kind of a weird timing for the Portfolio article, considering American's Aircell implementation launched this morning:


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    nipseyrussell, Aug 20th, 2008 @ 8:57am

    American Air kicks off in-flight Internet service
    Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:36am EDT

    CHICAGO (Reuters) - AMR Corp's American Airlines began offering Internet access on long-haul domestic flights on Wednesday, making American the first U.S. airline to offer full in-flight broadband.

    The world's largest airline said its passengers on Boeing 767-200 aircraft can pay $12.95 for Internet access on nonstop flights between New York and San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, and New York and Miami.

    Airlines have been racing to get reliable Internet access on their flights in hopes of gaining a competitive edge in the troubled airline industry. Other carriers like Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways have made strides in that direction.

    Delta Air Lines Inc said this month it soon will start rolling out broadband Wi-Fi access for its entire domestic mainline fleet of more than 330 planes.

    Experts have said they expect in-flight Internet to become common in the industry.

    American's mobile broadband service, which is called Gogo, is provided by AirCell. Each Gogo session includes full Internet access. Cell phone and Voice over Internet Protocol are not available.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    nipseyrussell, Aug 20th, 2008 @ 8:58am

    oops, what Krl said. American rolls out today and delta "soon". bad timing!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2008 @ 8:59am

    Its Live on American Airlines

    08/19/08 - As of 10:42 a.m. --- 8 planes 70 users

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Al Gordon, Aug 20th, 2008 @ 9:03am

    airborne wi-fi

    Boy are you wrong!!

    Check out the announcement that American Airlines now has Wi-Fi in operation on its 767 fleet.

    Time to do a little more research!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    A frequent flyer, Aug 20th, 2008 @ 9:41am

    Do your homework before you spout off Joe!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Aaron, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 4:44am

    Re: A frequent flyer

    Who's Joe? Looks like American Airlines has kicked off the WiFi on 1 jet so far.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Greek2me, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 6:39am

    Check out http://www.voyant.aero/
    Voyant has announced its intention to bring true broadband service to commercial airline passengers in flight. Along with partner companies such as Harris Corporation, Voyant intends to design and deliver a system-level solution that will deliver unique content and a full suite of broadband service to passengers in flight at a disruptive price point. Passengers will be more productive, connected, and entertained during their travels, while airlines will enjoy greater customer satisfaction and new revenue opportunities.

    Voyant believes that providing in-flight broadband services to the commercial aviation sector represents a multi-billion-dollar market opportunity, and it is this sector that the companies initially intend to serve. Follow-on potential markets could include general aviation, military aviation and Homeland Security applications.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    techdude, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 10:39am

    Re: Greek2me

    I don't understand why the other airlines are using Aircell when http://www.voyant.aero/ is capable of providing 10 - 35 Mbps to each airplane in a full fleet. Also, 10 – 100 times lower cost/bit than satellite-based systems. I guess the airline industry wants to spend money on something that doesn't work.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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