American Airlines became the first airline to officially offer in-flight internet access on long-haul domestic flights. The service began today, Wednesday August 20th. The service is offered for $12.95 for unlimited web access on nonstop flights between New York and San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, and New York and Miami.
American’s mobile broadband service, which is called Gogo, is provided by AirCell. Each Gogo session includes full Internet access. Cell phone and Voice over Internet Protocol are not available.
It seems that the concept of in-flight Internet has been on the back-burner for years now. However, since the airlines are going through a tough time money wise, offering internet for long flights will bring in some extra revenue for the airlines.
It is no coincidence that the in-flight Internet service is launched during the time where customers are angry at the airlines for charging passengers to check luggage. Plus, users are now tempted to bring their laptops with them as they fly, which means that they have less room to carry items on-board the aircraft — so they will have to pay to check luggage.
Other airlines are planning on rolling out in-flight wireless internet as soon as possible. It is going to be the decision maker when deciding which airline to fly.