AirCell, a wireless data and voice communications provider in business aviation, today announced
it is teaming with American Airlines as the first US carrier to test its high-speed broadband Internet access. Beginning in 2008, in-flight Wi-Fi from AirCell will be available for a fee on American's Boeing 767-200 aircraft flying mostly transcontinental routes.
"We understand that broadband connectivity is important to our business customers and others who want to use their PDAs and laptops for real-time, in-flight broadband communications," said Dan Garton, Executive Vice President - Marketing for American Airlines.
Passengers will reportedly have access to some content at no cost through a Web portal, including AA.com and sites that affiliate themselves with AirCell to let users, for instance, book cars and hotels. The cost of the service will be announced at the time of service roll-out. However, AirCell’s previous statements hint that service will be at a slight premium over what hotspot services costs on the ground, with discounted rates for users of existing Wi-Fi hotspots such as Boingo, T-Mobile and iPass.