United Airlines has announced plans to add in-flight Internet service from Aircell on selected flights, beginning with service between New York’s John F. Kennedy airport and Los Angeles International, as well as from JFK to San Francisco International. Aircell’s GoGo service will be available for passengers in all classes for a flat fee of $12.95 per flight, and will initially be deployed on 13 Boeing 757 planes.
The announcement makes United the fifth major air carrier to announce in-flight Wi-Fi service; the others are American, Virgin, Delta (which acquired Northwest), and Air Canada.
“We are investing in products and services that are most important to our customers, and having Wi-Fi access on board is something that they have told us is key to making their flights more productive and enjoyable,” said United senior VP and chief customer officer Dennis Cary, in a statement.
United plans to launch the service in the second half of 2009.
American Airlines already as 15 plans operating with in-flight Internet service, although Delta is the only large carrier that has announced plans for a fleet-wide deployment of the service. (Virgin also plans a fleet-wide deployment, but that accounts for a much smaller number of planes.) All these in-flight Internet services use AirCell’s service, which uses ground-based cellular networks an in-cabin Wi-Fi to connect flyers to the Internet.