I spotted via Boing Boing that American Airlines (AA) are about to test out wireless Internet onboard planes, with the finished product aimed to be available in six months time. Virgin also have plans in the pipeline, which aim to be brought in shortly afterwards.
Both airlines will be using Aircell’s ‘Gogo‘ technology, which will allow passengers to connect to the Internet whilst flying. This won’t be limited to simply laptops, all applications will be able to connect. So whether you want to check the weather on your iPhone or play PSP Socom online, the options are there.
The service begins testing tomorrow in the US and once launched, is expected to cost between $10 and $13 to use on long flights. This runs in sync with Ryan-air’s recently announced service to allow texting, GRPS and voice calls via OnAir‘s satellite technology.
I always just assumed the reason we hadn’t seen these kind of services commercially was because it was too dangerous and may interfere with flight controls, but I guess not. I think that it could quite radically change how boring flights usually are. For too long I’ve had to think ahead and make sure my laptop is packed with enough decent material to keep me occupied in the air. Soon I won’t have to bother, I can just browse and download at leisure. Naturally though, cost is going to paramount to its success.