Following a successful trial run earlier this year, American Airlines’ new in-flight broadband service has gone live today. The service will cost $12.95 for flights lasting more than three hours and be available on their 767-200 aircrafts connecting New York with Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.
The Wi-Fi service is called GoGo and is provided by Aircell, a company that is also outfitting Delta Airlines' aircrafts with Internet access. Although passengers can now surf the web and check their emails at speeds comparable to residential broadband, American Airlines is not permitting the use of cell phones or VoIP services such as Skype to avoid disturbing other passengers.
Several other carriers are either testing or plan to test in-flight connectivity, which should be a key driver as they compete for business. The move will also create a new stream of revenue at a time when airlines are facing high fuel prices and other challenges – all while making flights much more enjoyable.