Guest Author - Julia Reed Zaic
AirTran is the next airline to offer inflight wireless services following Delta, American, Virgin America, and United. However, not all flights on these airlines offer the service yet. Here’s a summary of their current status of wireless availability.
Delta Airlines has advertised the Wi-Fi feature and claims that all flights will be wireless by the end of 2009. Yet this frequent business traveler has not been on one single flight that has offered the service. Upon inquiry to a flight attendant on my last Delta flight, she said they are offering the service on the shorter flights first before integrating with the larger planes and longer routes. Even after taking a few short hops on Delta, I still have not seen the logo on any of their aircraft. Stay tuned on this one.
AirTran advertises that its entire fleet will offer the inflight wireless services before the close of summer 2009. The airline also states that the service is currently offered on many of its flights. Again, good things come to those who wait, and we can't wait for this service to be implemented. Summers fly by, no pun intended.
American Airlines offers Wi-Fi inflight services on three major routes specifically on their 767-200 aircrafts only. These routes include the following:
New York (JFK) to / from San Francisco (SFO)
New York (JFK) to / from Los Angeles (LAX)
New York (JFK) to / from Miami (MIA)
Sign up for the service described below before taking these routes so you can get the most out of your time in the air.
United will offer Wi-Fi inflight services on the following cross country flights starting in the summer of 2009 on these specific routes:
New York(JFK) to/from San Francisco (SFO)
New York(JFK) to/from Los Angeles (LAX)
Virgin America offers Wi-Fi inflight services on select routes between nine cities including Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Washington D.C., Las Vegas and Orange County.
Air Canada intends to offer Wi-Fi inflight services but has not listed any timetable to do so.
How It Works
To use the Wi-Fi services offerd by these carriers, you must sign up with the Gogo® Infight Internet service. This is a partnership service with the airlines that will offer internet features. Visit Gogo Inflight Internet and fill out the required fields. The process requires the same information that most online services require: First name, last name, email and email confirmation, address, phone number, username with security question and answer, and a password.
Be aware of the following minimum laptop and browser requirements for access to the internet via Gogo®: A laptop with 802.11 a/b/g wireless capability and a Gogo®-supported web browser. The supported laptop browsers include: Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 6, 7 and 8 (Windows® XP or Vista™); Mozilla® Firefox® ; and Safari™ on Mac OS® X
Gogo® also works with smart phones and other Wi-Fi equipped handheld devices. Supported platforms include: BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Apple, and Nokia (Symbian S60). Voice service is not supported for inflight access on any carrier. GoGo® inflight internet access will be offered at a cost of $9.95 on flights of three hours or less, and $12.95 for longer flights. It seems that the goal is to phase this service in on all domestic flights before the end of 2009.
Once you have created an account with Gogo®, you may add your credit card information for immediate access, or add it later. Gogo® takes Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express, which will likely cover all business and personal credit options. The card number, security code and expiration date is required, like any other online purchase. Also, once you have an active account, you can access it to make any necessary changes and to monitor your charges and time used in your “purchase history”.
I look forward to reviewing the service once I take a flight with this new option. In the meantime, if you beat me to it, please feel free to visit my forum and tell us all about it.