American Airlines reached a major milestone this week with its Gogo Inflight Internet service. The Wi-Fi service is now available on 100 MD-80 aircraft, which is two-thirds of the 150 Gogo installations scheduled to be completed by the end of 2009.
One year ago today, American was the first U.S. airline to launch the Gogo service. Since then, thousands of customers traveling on American’s 15 Boeing 767-200 aircraft and select MD-80 aircraft have enjoyed the onboard Wi-Fi service while flying across the United States, AA reports.
“We are excited to reach this one-year milestone and to continue our expansion of the Gogo high-speed service to customers on our MD-80s,” said Dan Garton, American’s executive vice president – Marketing. “We continue to receive positive feedback from customers who use the service to stay connected while in the air. Our goal is to offer our customers the chance to continue their work or personal business while 35,000 feet above the ground.”
Gogo turns an American Airlines flight into a Wi-Fi hotspot, enabling passengers to surf the Web, check e-mail, send instant messages, access a corporate VPN, and more. Once the aircraft has reached 10,000 feet, users can simply turn on their Wi-Fi enabled devices – such as laptops, smartphones and handheld PDAs – then open their browsers and be directed to the Gogo portal page where they sign up and begin surfing. Gogo is powered by the Aircell air-to-ground system, which uses three small antennas installed outside the aircraft and connects to Aircell’s exclusive nationwide mobile broadband network.
Aircell’s prices for the Gogo service range from $5.95 to $12.95 based on length of flight and whether the device is a handheld PDA or a laptop computer. Aircell’s pricing plans are:
· Mobile Flight Pass: $7.95 – mobile device pricing for customers using a hand held device only
· Short-Haul Flight Pass: $5.95 – for flights lasting approximately 1.5 hours or less
· Mid-Range Flight Pass: $9.95 – for flights generally under 3 hours
· Long-Range Flight Pass: $12.95 – for flights generally over 3 hours
Each paid Gogo session includes full Internet, e-mail and VPN access. Cell phone and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service use are not available.