WiFly

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Internet-dependent airline passenger soon will find more options to sign on while aloft:

Delta: Plans Internet service on its entire fleet of 330 domestic aircraft by summer 2009, starting with 75 by the end of the year.

Northwest: Delta, which is buying Northwest, said it will equip Northwest planes with Internet service after the merger is approved.

American: Placing 15 jets in a three- to-six-month Internet service trial program. No launch date yet, but "dress rehearsals" were conducted on two flights in June.

JetBlue: Offered WiFi on one A320 in December. It allows e-mail, messaging and shopping on Amazon.com, but not Web surfing.

Southwest and Alaska Airlines: Testing a system that relies on satellites rather than cellphone towers. No date given for start of service.

Virgin America: The airline expects to begin testing Aircell Internet service in the fall and roll it out on its entire fleet by end of the first quarter, 2009.

Continental: Announced in January that it planned to offer onboard WiFi access using a satellite-based service starting in 2009, but the airline says it is still testing, which could push back the start date.


© 2008 The Washington Post Company