JetBlue, Delta allow passengers to use devices at takeoff
Airlines JetBlue and Delta have announced that they will be allowing passengers to use electronic devices between the departure and arrivals gates, including at takeoff, according to Bloomberg. Shortly after the FAA changed the rules governing the use of such devices in a plane, JetBlue corporate communications manager Morgan Johnson posted an image of passengers armed with smartphones to Facebook, claiming its first flight under the new policy has flown successfully.
Airline surprisingly drops iPad for flight crews, goes with Surface 2
Delta Air Lines surprised industry observers on Friday by going with Microsoft's newly announced Surface 2 tablet for its pilots instead of Apple's iPad. The airline already allows pilots to bring their own iPads with them on flights, and observers expected them to go with Apple's tablet for digital flight materials. Instead, they will receive Microsoft's newest Windows RT-powered tablet devices, according to Windows IT Pro.
Lumia 820 used by cabin crew to provide near real-time card processing
Microsoft has revealed that Delta Airlines has made a large purchase of Nokia devices, for use by flight attendants. Over 19,000 Nokia Lumia 820s were bought by the airline, which will end up being employed by cabin crew as onboard point-of-sale devices, complete with an attached card reader for near real-time credit card processing.
Arrangement allows ordering, limited travel, entertainment functions
Delta Air Lines is deploying 250 iPads at restaurants in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, according to an announcement. Travelers can find the hardware at Concourse G's MinniBar, Mimosa, and Shoyu. The rollout follows one at New York's LaGuardia Airport, and is part of a plan that will eventually see Delta using over 4,500 iPads at three airport hubs within the next year.
Gogo Wi-Fi to use Ku-band capacity satellites
Delta Airlines has expanded its onboard Wi-Fi offerings to include international flights. The Gogo-powered Inflight Internet Service will be added to more than 150 aircraft in Delta's international fleet, including the Airbus 330 and the Boeing 777, 767, 757 and 747.
More than 250 RJs to be outfitted early in 2012
Delta has announced that it is expanding its in-flight Wi-Fi service to include a number of additional regional aircraft. The program is set to include Bombardier CRJ700 jets operated by Delta Connection carrier Atlantic Southeast Airlines. The company claims to be the first carrier to offer Wi-Fi services across its entire mainline and two-class regional fleet, which include a total of more than 800 aircraft.
Delta begins tablet tests for use by pilots
Delta Air Lines is now using 22 iPads as part of a test to communicate with its pilots. The tablets are used as electronic flight bags (EFBs) during trips, with all loaded with an identical software suite that can be further customized with other apps. Pilots also have access to their Delta e-mail account and calendar.
Gogo to launch in-air platform this fall
Gogo this week announced it will offer an in-flight multimedia platform rather than just offering in-flight Wi-Fi, as it has to date. Users will, through their own Wi-Fi-enabled devices, have the ability to access real-time travel information, destination content, news and information and exclusive shopping deals. All this will come from a web browser, and passengers will also have access to streaming videos, though how this will be delivered isn't known.
First major carrier to join
While Delta Air Lines is "still vastly paper driven" when it comes to navigational charts, the company is seeking approval to test the iPad and other tablets beginning next quarter, according to spokeswoman Gina Laughlin. The Federal Aviation Administration only recently approved the use of the iPad instead of paper charts or electronic flight bags (EFBs). Although EFBs may offer some of the advantages of tablets, they can weigh as much as 18 pounds versus the iPad 1's 1.5 or the iPad 2's 1.3.
Gogo, seven airlines give free in-flight Facebook
Seven major airlines have teamed up with Gogo Inflight Internet to provide free access to Facebook during flights. Accessing other pages on the web, however, requires payment, ranging between $5 for short flights or $13 for long ones. Facebook is the most popular place visited on the Gogo network and is being used as a promo to drive adoption of in-air Internet use.
Google gives free Wi-Fi on AirTrain, Delta, Virgin
Google today restarted its free holiday Wi-Fi program with an approach that focuses on the flights. The new plan will give free Internet access on any AirTran, Delta or Virgin America domestic flight from November 20 through to January 2. The effort is promoted by the Chrome browser team in an attempt to drive use of the browser.
JetBlue vows to bring Wi-Fi to planes in 2012
JetBlue has become the latest airline company to announce it will bring Wi-Fi to its fleet. The company, which flies across the US, will partner with ViaSat to install hardware that will enable broadband Internet and TV service on its 160 aircraft by the end of 2012. Before this happens, however, the FAA needs to test and approve all the gear.
Gogo gives frequent travelers Wi-Fi subscription
Gogo provided a first for in-flight Internet today by adding a monthly subscription plan to its lineup. Instead of paying per flight or for a 30-day pass, the $35 per month offer gives permanent, auto-renewing Internet access. It should work on all flights covered by Gogo and is potentially much less expensive for those who travel multiple times per month.
Amtrak to launch free Wi-Fi in some trains
Commuter train operator Amtrak on Thursday said it will begin offering free Wi-Fi service, at least initially, on its Acela trains that carry passengers between Boston, New York and Washington. The move is the latest in the company's bid to entice business travelers to take the train rather than fly. The service will launch in March.
Delayed Continental Wi-Fi due spring
Continental Airlines today set out more concrete plans for its in-flight Wi-Fi service. Pushed back from its original January 2009 target, the service is now due to launch in spring aboard 21 Boeing 757 airliners. Most of these will be present on domestic flights, the transport service says.
United Wi-Fi starts with 13 planes
United Airlines this week began deploying Wi-Fi on some of its flights. The rollout will at first cover longer flights between California and New York and should have 13 Boeing 757 planes in United's fleet offering Internet access by mid-November. Much as with similar approaches from Virgin and other airlines, the new approach is based on Aircell's Gogo technology and shares a 3G cellular connection (typically EVDO Revision A) with the entire cabin over a Wi-Fi hotspot in the plane itself.
Southwest Airlines announced recently that it has concluded testing Wi-Fi Internet access on four of its airplanes and has plans to expand the in-flight service to its entire fleet as early as next year. Passengers involved in the testing have returned positive feedback, and Southwest itself is pleased with the technical performance of the in-flight service and the customer response, according to a Friday report.
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.
Delta to Filter Wi-Fi
Delta will filter the content on its in-flight Wi-Fi service, the airline said today. Although the company has previously been concerned about the ramifications of active censorship on its GoGo-based service and has intended to rely on attendants alone to screen out adult sites and other material that might make some passengers uncomfortable, it now says it will implement a content filter that automatically blocks certain sites before they reach cellphones, notebooks and other devices capable of a Wi-Fi link.
Delta offers Gogo Wi-Fi
Delta Air Lines announced on Tuesday it will offer broadband Wi-Fi access on all domestic flights in 2009, equipping over 330 airplanes with the ability to access the Aircell-created Gogo network. The service will allow data transfer speeds of more than 12Mbps, and will be offered in both first and economy classes. It will give Delta the distinction of being the first and only US airline to offer in-flight Wi-Fi on all domestic flights.