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AirTran Airways puts Wi-Fi access on planes

updated 07:25 am EDT, Fri May 15, 2009

Wi-Fi access on planes

AirTran Airways in collaboration with Gogo has announced it will be the first airline to provide Wi-Fi access on all its airplanes. By registering with Gogo, users can purchase a session of internet time that enables them to use most non-voice Internet features on a given trip. Prices for the in-flight internet sessions are based on what type of device the user brings with them, and for how long they will be on the flight.

Users who carry a notebook onboard have two purchase options available. A $10 plan covers flights that are under three hours, and a $13 plan if the trip will be greater than three hours. If bringing on a handheld device such as an iPhone or certain BlackBerry models, the price for in-air internet is set at $8 regardless of the flight length. When preparing to use the Wi-Fi service users will still have to wait until the plane has reached 10,000 feet.

In order to enable internet connectivity while on the plane users require 802.11a/b/g wireless capabilities, a Gogo-supported web browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8, Mozilla Firefox or Safari. The company plans to have internet availability on all its airplanes by summer of 2009.

AirTran's size lets it achieve the all-flights mark more quickly than other airlines, as American Airlines, Delta and United and Virgin America all limit their Wi-Fi to certain, usually longer flights. Nearly all rely on Gogo's infrastructure, which creates a Wi-Fi hotspot from a 3G cellular connection.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. wymer100

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2003

    0

    Airtran

    That's fantastic news. We've always liked flying with Airtran. Another reason to fly with them.

  1. LouZer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2000

    0

    I bet

    They'll be under the riaa and mpaa thumb and prevent bittorrent access too!

  1. aspooner

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005

    0

    How fascinating...

    ... that now, since there is money to be made, the Very Dangerous Wireless Devices are now safe to use in flight.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    Re: How fascinating

    What's more amazing is the fact that the terrorists even waste their time with bombs and guns and stuff, when all they'd have to do is turn on a cell phone on take-off to send the plane careening to the ground.

  1. LouZer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2000

    0

    electronics

    Bear in mind the rules against electronics on take-off and landing is actually more about passenger safety. They want to make sure people are paying some attention (or are at least capable of hearing stuff) during the most dangerous parts of the flight.

    Plus its some legal protection. You know if some kid was listening to his iPod during take-off, and the plane crashed, and the kid was injured/killed, the parents would be suing the airline for allowing him to play his iPod and not hearing the important "brace for impact" messages being broadcast.

    Oh, and they'd sue Apple as well, for making such a cool and useful device that made him want to play it on the plane in the first place. Damn you Apple!

  1. fubar_this

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006

    0

    fubar_this

    While LouZer is correct that the primary concern is passenger alertness during takeoff & landing, there is some concern with EMF. Although you might think it's laughable that your iPod could provide enough elctromagnetic interference to bring the plane crashing to the ground, there is some evidence that handheld devices can interfere with tower communications. While your particular iPhone/iPod may not provide much interference, a jumbojet with 300 out of 400 passengers using their iPod might just be enough (though not probable) to cause interference. The passenger alertness is just more damning evidence to seal the deal (although they can't prevent you from reading or talking with your neighbor).

  1. allenranger2

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2006

    0

    Not true...

    I think Airtran missed the memo about Virgin America having wifi on all of their planes within a week and a half.

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