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In-Flight WiFi / WiFi / SkyTeam / KLM / Air France / Airlines / Airline News / Travel Tech / Panasonic / → All Tags
"Eventually" is definitely better than "never," which goes double when it comes to airlines and in-flight WiFi. The latest announcement for onboard connectivity comes from both Air France and KLM, SkyTeam Alliance partners who plan to bring WiFi to their long-haul fleet as early as February 2013.
Naturally that date, which is little more than 7 months away, will mark the start of trials of Panasonic's technology onboard two Boeing 777-300s. Taking the tech fleet-wide is still a ways off, but at least you'll be able to be one of the first to try it, assuming you pay attention to the plane you're flying to Paris or Amsterdam. Look for one of these atop your airplane.
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For scale, that's a magazine down there in the lower left corner
By now we're going to go ahead and assume that you've lost your in-flight WiFi virginity, but have you done it over an ocean yet?
Long-haul WiFi is a real thing, and some airlines already have it installed and ready to run via satellites, provided you're willing to pay for the service. For example, Lufthansa, via its partnership with Panasonic, offers "FlyNet," which runs 20 Euros for 24 hours (with other pricing plans available). You can fly from the US to Germany and send a braggy Facebook status update from above Iceland. You know you want to.
A connection to the world wide web from 38,000' doesn't just happen by magic, of course; there's technology up the wazoo working to let you tweet "I'm on a plane." That technology is mostly contained within a special bump on the top of the plane's bodylook for it on aircraft and you'll begin to see it everywhere. That bump is the home of a tiny satellite dishthe one pictured above. You have it to thank for long-haul in-flight internet and live satellite TV, where available of course.
In-Flight WiFi / WiFi / Cathay Pacific / Panasonic / Long Haul WiFi / Technology / Airline News / Airlines / → All Tags
Whoa. Just when we start to get used to using In-Flight WiFi on our cross-country USA flights and think that's way cool, more connectivity announcement come out to blow our minds. We're talking about long-haul in-flight WiFi, like using the internet while flying at 40,000 feet somewhere over the Pacific between New York and Tokyo, and it's totally coming soon to airlines.
The latest carrier to jump onboard the long-haul WiFi bandwagon is Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, who plan to roll out broadband internet onboard all of their regular and Dragonair fleet starting in early 2012. They'll be partnering up with the same folks working to make long-haul internet on Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa a reality tooand that's Panasonic. But the fun won't stop at just the internet...
In-Flight Entertainment / In-Flight WiFi / Virgin Atlantic / Panasonic / Long-Haul WiFi / WiFi / Technology / → All Tags
We've said it once and we'll say it again: 2011 will the year that in-flight WiFi goes long-haul. Now that many airlines are picking up on the domestic connectivity thing with Gogo In-Flight, it's time to explore the wild blue yonder...that space that knows no country's political borders. We're talking about being able to SMS, email, and even browse the web (eventually) like normal, just from 35,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean.
This is exactly what Virgin Atlantic has today announced that it'll dointroduce in-flight connectivity on its Airbus A330 deliveries coming next year. We kind of already knew that they wanted to do this, but the specifics weren't given, until now...