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.