Flying? Get on the Web
In-flight Internet service is gradually becoming a regular option when you're flying. The current industry leader, Aircell, just announced the 1,000th installation of its Gogo system, with more coming along all the time. If your laptop or smartphone is equipped with a, b, g, or n WiFi connection, you can log on.
Currently, eight North American lines offer Gogo on at least some planes:
-- American: installed on all 767-200s and some 737s and MD80s.
-- Delta: installed on all A319s, A320s, 737-700s, 737-800s, 757-300s, 767-300s, MD80s, and MD90s, plus some 757-200s and DC9-50s; Delta claims it has "WiFi on more aircraft than any other airline."
-- Frontier: to be installed on all E170s and E190s "by the end of the year."
-- United: installed on all 757-200s used on its premium "PS" transcon flights; no indications on further installations.
-- Virgin America: installed on all planes.
Gogo connects to the Internet through ground stations similar to those used for cell phone service. That means coverage is limited to the entire 48-state region of
Gogo says speeds are comparable to other mobile devices, and -- probably -- vary depending on the number of travelers on each flight that use it at any particular time. Airlines are able to block some content and use of the Internet for voice VOIP calls (such as through
You can buy Gogo access through a variety of "passes," either for one-day, one-flight use on one airline or on daily or monthly passes valid 24/7:
-- One-flight pass for computer use,
-- One-flight pass for handheld device use,
-- One-day (24 hour) pass for a single airline,
-- Monthly 30-day pass for unlimited use,
Buy through your airline or online from Gogo (www.gogoinflight.com).
Internet access on flights outside
Meanwhile, if you're satisfied with lower-tech phone-based service in-flight, AeroMobile and OnAir have already installed phone and phone-plus-movie systems on a handful of airlines based outside
My initial reaction to
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