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In-Flight WiFi / Airlines / Airline News / Air China / Travel Tech / In-Flight Entertainment / WiFi / Gogo / → All Tags
We knew that Air China was testing out in-flight WiFi aboard some of its domestic flights, and it sounds like the initial tests must have gone pretty darn well. That’s because even more tests and trials are planned for additional flights through the first part of 2012.
Again, the in-flight WiFi is technically for accessing the airline’s entertainment system, so online holiday shopping high above China isn’t exactly an option just yet. However, we can’t imagine that it’ll remain that way for long, because it's actually our buddies over at Gogo providing the in-flight magic. Just like back at home in the nifty fifty, it’s Gogo that’s responsible for all the wires, transmitters, and other do-dads that makes the system hum along.
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In short, they're brilliant. We're all about Trav Lehrman and his Zach Galifianakis-in-The Hangover attitude, plus that velour sportcoat/turtleneck combo sure is something. We're also completely blown away by the sheer simple excellence of Gogo's new slogan, "Land on top of things." We're borrowing it as our new mantra. Of course we can't forget to point out that "It's the internet, in the sky" is just as slick. We'd carry a totebag printed with that, for sure.
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OMG. Get excited because buried deep within a Delta press release that celeb chef Michael Chiarello will be creating menus for BusinessFirst passengers between the east and west coasts this fall, sits some awesome awesome news for techie flyers (well, all flyers) that Delta has "completed installation of Wi-Fi on its mainline domestic fleet."
Whoa. Domestic fleetwide WiFi on Delta. Let that sink in a moment. In their last update back in mid-June, Delta was at 569 aircraft running high with Gogo In-Flight WiFi. That's over 1800 flights on all their A319s, MD88s, MD90s, 737s, 757s, 767s, A320s andhold your breathregional jets are next up.
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It's official! In-Flight WiFi provider (and all around awesome people) Gogo In-Flight have announced their plans to go both international with coverage, and to expand offerings to include streaming content. This shouldn't be news to you at all, especially since we snuck around Gogo's Chicago HQ almost two months ago and put our fingers on the new system ourselves and then told you all about it.
Here's the gist of it:
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Holy crap. Two of obsessions have just combined in an amazing conflagration of awesomeness. Take a breath. Okay. Here we go: designer sample sale site Gilt Groupe is partnering with Gogo In-Flight WiFI to offer special online sales...in the air.
This means that, without having to pay to login to use the full internet on Gogo-equipped flights on Delta, United, Virgin America, Alaska Airlines and US Airways, you can open up your laptop or turn on your smartphone or iPad to browse the Gilt site and maybe purchase a special something or other (we're currently loving their new site, Gilt Taste).
Here's how to get on when up in the air:
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Three cheers for in-flight entertainment! Hip hip, hooray! Hip hip, hooray! Hip hip, hoo...misses the days of crossword puzzle magazines and listening to your CD player on a flight? Not us! And thankfully, not the airlines either as the majority of US carriers engage in a race to see who can have the biggest seatback TVs or the fastest in-flight WiFi.
Like it or not, what the airlines offer can vary greatly, especially where movies or music is involved. Thus, in the interest of helping you to be the coolest and most informed traveler around, we've laid out exactly what to expect when you sit in your seat. Our annual guide (now in its third year) highlights domestic carriers, plus the bonus of Air Canada because they get around the US enough. Enjoy, travel happily, and let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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Gone are the days of the no smoking light just above your airplane seat. This is the future, where your options are to turn on the reading light, call a flight attendant, or access the in-flight WiFi. While it's true that you may still fly on a plane that has an ashtray in the bathroom, these interiors are being phased out (and even though there is an ashtray doesn't mean you can use it).
We looked up during a recent Delta flight lately and snapped this picture, because it's just about time.
Weren't you sick of the no smoking light staying on for the whole flight, knowing it would never go off? Knowing that space could be used for cooler things, like internet? Yeahhh...
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Regional Jets. Do you love 'em or hate 'em or pray for no turbulence while traveling in 'em? Every frequent flier seems to have a solid stance on the baby planes, but no matter how you feel, it's obvious that Delta smiles on theirs. You see, Delta has installed 569 planes with WiFi at this point, and they've begun adding Regional Jets into the mix. The first Regional Jet in the world with In-Flight WiFi went back into the skies today after the installation of Gogo's magical other black box.
The lucky jet is an Atlantic Southeast Airlines Canadair CRJ700, operated by Delta Connection (check out the seat plan here). Since ASA is based out of Atlanta, you can expect to find this first connected RJ zipping into and out of ATL quite a bit, as well as other Delta hubs like DTW, MSP, CVG and SLC.
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If we've learned one new thing about Kevin Smith in the last year of so, it's that he is not a big fan of flying. It makes him uncomfortable (because of his weight), impatient, and it even made him give up for a period and buy a bus. However, slowly but surely he's coming round to things, starting after he lost 65 pounds and again easily fit into a standard airline seat.
Another factor aiding in winning back Smith to air travel? In-Flight WiFi, as he tweeted his pleasure with it over the weekend:
True, Kevin. That did sound like an ad, but it's the gosh darn truth. Frankly, we're just happy to see someone once jaded, now back up in the skies andgaspenjoying it thanks to the modern technology.
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If you're flying Alaska Airlines this month, you already know that June means free Facebook on the airline, thanks to a partnership with Gogo In-Flight WiFI, but what about the other WiFI-equipped airlines? Well, there's at least one other special deal that makes SkyMall seem like a thing of the past: Delta flights with WiFi have free access to Zappos.com all June.
Haven't had time to shop for your summer sandals? Now you do, since you're stuck on an airplane! Plus, Zappos stopped being just shoes a while ago, so shopping for clothing, accessories, beauty products and housewares is just as simple. The best part about all this? Zappos offers free shipping and a 365-day return policy, so if your in-flight shopping decisions are cocktail-fueled, then no worries.
To get the free Zappos access, wait until your flight attendant says approved electronic devices may be used, then power on your WiFI-enabled device (laptop, smartphone, iPad, etc). Connect to Gogo, and the homepage that appears on Delta flights will have a big Zappos banner to click on and get started.
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They’ve got a couple more planes here and there to finish, but by the end of June they’re thinking that around 92 percent of their planes will be equipped and able to hit up Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and more from around 35,000 feet in the sky thanks to Gogo—and this even includes flights in and around Alaska.
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This is the
doohickey ACPU that sits inside each airplane, delivering sweet, sweet in-flight WiFi
Gone are the days of crossword puzzles, and $5.99 mystery/thriller novels bought in a rush from the airport bookstore. At least these things are over in paper form, as travelers bring more and more new gadgets onboard airplanes and In-Flight WiFi opens up a whole new level of personal entertainment. The current industry leader in that realm is Gogo, whom you may know from giving them your credit card information to access WiFi onboard AirTran, American, Virgin America, Delta, Alaska Airlines, United, US Airways, Frontier, and two planes on Air Canada.
Last week in Chicago, we swung by Gogo's headquarters near O'Hare Airport to talk everything from Foursquare to Skymall, and to fiddle with their next innovation: in-flight streaming content.