Alaska Airlines will soon offer wireless internet

Virgin America, American Airlines — now Alaska Airlines becomes the latest US carrier to promise in-flight wireless internet to customers.

The service will come at a to-be-determined price. Some of these reports indicate Alaska will be the first of those three carriers to actually launch airborne WiFi, but not according to the planned rollout dates — VA says its service will be live in 2008, Alaska is aiming for 2009.

Virgin and American are using AirCell, but Alaska's using a different provider, Row 44.

Link to AP item, here's the Alaska Airlines press release.

Over at Wi-Fi Networking News, Glenn Fleishman digs a little deeper:

Row 44 can cover Alaska's large number of over-water flights to Alaska, Hawaii, and Mexico, where AirCell won't be able to even when they receive expected approval from Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean nations for their system. Row 44 planes extensive entertainment offerings down the road, too.


Alaska's test will come in the spring, and if successful, they'll roll service out to 114 aircraft by the end of 2009. No pricing has been set. AirCell believes its airlines will charge about $10 for a session. Row 44's head said that the firm might set up a fleetwide single price model–pay a few dollars for access on all Alaska flights for a day–or even a monthly subscription model.


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