American Airlines Knows Why You Fly, Offers In-Flight Wi-Fi Service
Mobile broadband service will be offered on the airline's Boeing 767-200 planes, providing coast-to-coast coverage on nonstop flights between New York and San Francisco; New York and Los Angeles; and New York and Miami.
The airline is using the Gogo system from Aircell, a 10-year-old aviation data and voice communications provider. Gogo allows passengers with Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, smartphones and PDAs to access the Internet, check e-mail, Instant Message and corporate VPNs.
Broadband access from Aircell costs $12.95 on flights that are more than three hours. Each paid Gogo session includes full Internet access after an airplane reaches 10,000 feet. Cell phone and Voice-Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services are not available.
In 2006, Aircell won the Federal Communication Commission's broadband frequency license for business aviation. The Gogo service is based on the telecommunications technology, CDMA EVDO. A network of specialized cell sites on the ground communicates with aircrafts in flight. An access point on the airplane connects to wireless devices and routes communication to one of the company's ground sites.
Earlier this month, Aircell signed a deal with Delta Airlines to provide Gogo to first and economy class passengers on more than 330 Delta aircraft starting next year. Delta fliers can access Gogo for a flat fee of $9.95 on flights of three hours or less and $12.95 on flights of more than three hours.