American and Virgin America to launch in-flight WiFi soon

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18 Responses to “American and Virgin America to launch in-flight WiFi soon”

  1. JamesMason says:

    I’m concerned that someone will use a parabolic reflector to concentrate the wi-fi and hijack the plane.

    In the interest of safety, I think I’ll pass.

  2. Tenn says:

    But won’t the terrists overtake the plane with the WiFi? Think of the Americans!

  3. Baldhead says:

    Okay, numerous airlines around the world have been offering this for years. The only news aspect is that US- based airlines are finally getting over their irrational fear of wireless devices.

    That is all.

  4. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    But won’t the terrists overtake the plane with the WiFi? Think of the Americans!

    If anyone is actually afraid of that (likely) then by definition they already have.

  5. B2B says:

    They should block most services that consume high bandwidth (anything that has video or voice). Let people use IM (with text only), mail (cap on downloads) and have a on-board server spreading the news and maybe videos from Red.

    But, is “wi-fly” a good idea? We’ll have to wait and see … hopefully not too late to act.

  6. triakter says:

    Ok, so let me make sure I understand the new rules…

    My cell phone will crash the plane from the time the door closes right up until the moment the wheels touch the ground, after which it instantly becomes safe. My OTHER personal electronic devices, such as a laptop or PSP, are ok if the plane is above 10,000 feet; they don’t assume their plane-crashing power until final approach, but thereafter they maintain it all the way to the gate.

    Connecting to a cell tower or even an in-plane ad-hoc network of your own will still crash the plane, but aiplane super-scientists have developed a new magic wi-fi that doesn’t interfere with the plane’s navigation system if you pay for it. It even works with your device’s existing wi-fi adapter!

    But remember, it’s magic wi-fi and comes through a series of magic ev-do tubes. The connections you’re already paying for are still interwoven with the plane’s navigation system like a metastasized tumor.

    If this all sounds like a crock, perhaps you should refer to the conclusive white paper on the subject in the June issue of the Journal of TSA Science.

  7. Justin Ried says:

    One of the coolest in-flight experiences I’ve had was using the “Connexion by Boeing” WiFi service that Scandinavian Airlines began offering in early 2005. Being able to sign in to iChat somewhere over Greenland and IM with my buddy Carlo was a pretty awesome thing. He posted about it here:

    http://c-lo.net/?p=88

    It wasn’t cheap at $30 per flight, but definitely worth it – for the novelty alone. Unfortunately, Boeing discontinued the service in August 2006. It was fun while it lasted!

    I’m glad to hear that Virgin is stepping up to the plate; the flights I’ve had with them so far have all been very enjoyable.

  8. Jen Leo says:

    Oooh this week for AA? I’m eagerly awaiting Wi-Fi from Virgin America but excited about any airline adding this service. Last I heard American Airlines was talking about passengers testing it “this summer”.

    Airlines look to reconnect to the Web
    http://travel.latimes.com/articles/la-trw-airweb17-2008jun17

  9. Poobot says:

    Tell Virgin they need to work on getting wifi to their cell service jeez

  10. WalterSear says:

    I would hazaed that you won’t need to worry about bandwidth sharing – there is no way they are going to charge a reasonable amount for this.

  11. jenjen says:

    I thought I had read elsewhere that VOIP would be specifically disallowed due to concerns about annoyance as expressed in comment #2.

  12. bjacques says:

    I hope the price is like your average cybercafe. If they do it like telephone calls ($5/minute, 3 minute minimum) I’m sticking with books and gods help any moron who keeps me awake. Is passive(-aggressive) RF mischief feasible?

  13. tmccartney says:

    The Virgin America spokesperson needs to learn the difference between it’s and its.

  14. ModusNYC says:

    How is this even news? Mossberg posted his review on the 19th and clearly states that the service, GoGo, from Aircell would launch this week.

    @grimc
    VoIP is blocked, so don’t worry about that.

    @B2B
    The service runs over EV-DO on cell towers.

  15. dirtdirt says:

    I am curious if Apple (and other “PDA” manufacturers) will address this. With an iPhone “airplane” mode turns off all wireless, try and turn on just WiFi and ALL wireless turns back on. So are iPhone users out of luck?

    And, obviously, if a cellphone powers up while a plane is in flight the plane will surely crash.

  16. Raines Cohen says:

    I just flew JetBlue and saw the webpage promoting the BetaBlue service. No predicting whether you end up on the one plane equipped for it, though. It sounds like it’s email only, selected providers, at least initially.

  17. grimc says:

    Skype? My increased interest in flying Virgin for WiFi is heavily outweighed by my fear that I’ll be stuck next to some idiot yapping into a phone. I’ll pass.

  18. sunbreaks says:

    The real question is when they’ll be implementing this at Bunway Airlines.

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