In-Flight Internet Could Be Around the Corner for All
Now that electronic gadgets such as tablets and e-readers are finally allowed to be kept on at all times during air travel, could it be time for in-flight Wi-Fi to finally soar too?
Even though in-flight internet connections have been available for some time, the service has largely been used in the past by business travelers on long-haul flights. Even so, business clients were always obliged to turn their mobile devices off for taxi, take-off and landing, which is no longer an issue. For the rest of us, the availability of electronics throughout flights may make the difference for airborne internet to become the next big travel trend.
JetBlue was one of the first two airlines to get on board with the new FAA regulations, and now the company has also announced that it will launch in-flight Wi-Fi connections, with speeds at least as fast as a home internet connection. Basic access to this service will be free to all travelers, whilst a paid version will also allow travelers to enjoy more download-heavy internet activity such as video-streaming. Southwest Airlines have not yet adopted the new FAA guidelines, but are expected to do so shortly, and are also expected to introduce a “gate-to-gate” Wi-Fi system within the coming months.
Internet-addicted travelers will be happy to hear that by the end of this year, it is expected that over 20% of airplanes around the globe will be outfitted with Wi-Fi or cellular connection.