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It’s time to stay connected high in the sky with yet another carrier, as this week there’s a buzz around El Al and their plans to install the necessary bits and pieces to support a little in-flight WiFi.
To start things will just be an option on the carrier’s shorter flights in and around Europe, as they are partnering up with the folks over at ViaSat to get things done. Boeing 737s will be the first to be hooked up with Exede in-flight internet, so be sure to fully charge all your electronic gadgets prior to heading off to the airport.
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United might not have been the first one to introduce in-flight WiFi, but they are trying to lead the way with faster speeds and better tray table connectivity. Just the other day they flipped the switch on some of this technology, so your next flight just might be that much better.
The newest United technology kind of takes a page from what JetBlue has been doing, as the bits and pieces of up in the air technology rely on ViaSat-1 satellite stuff. That means way faster speeds, and a lot more in-flight streaming of Netflix and Hulu—at least in theory.
Thai Airways / Thailand Travel / Airline News / Airlines / In-Flight WiFi / In-Flight Comfort / WiFi / A380 / → All Tags
Even with all the bells, whistles, and other accessories to check out aboard an Airbus A380 there’s always the chance for a little bit of boredom—especially on a long-haul flight. Thankfully Thai Airways is aware of our limited attention span, and they just flipped the switch on their in-flight connectivity.
In-flight WiFi is now an option on some of the carrier’s long distance journeys, as their A380 fleet is now equipped with the ability to access the internet in all its social media glory. Joining the A380s with the new technology are also some of the carrier’s A330 fleet, as the necessary bits and pieces needed for this kind of connectivity should be good-to-go on these planes as well.
Good news for those flying the friendly skies in and around Canada, as it’s time for one of the country’s carriers to add a little in-flight connectivity to its menu of amenities. WestJet is now ready to flip the switch on in-flight WiFi, so be sure your tray table is in the locked position and that your gadgets are fully charged.
Panasonic must have put together a good PowerPoint presentation, as they’re the ones that will bring the wires and transmitters to the WestJet fleet. They will bring the new in-flight entertainment, and their new system will actually also replace the existing seatback screens on plenty of the planes.
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Virgin America has always been the US' new little airline that could, and the intrepid company has fought for every bit of cool cache they carry, helped along by introducing many "firsts."
For example, Virgin America was the first airline to produce a flight attendant-based TV show, the first airline with an advanced seatback entertainment system including food and beverage ordering functions, the first to fly nonstop between New York and Palm Springs, the first to film a movie completely on scheduled flights, and the first airline to do Instagram promotions. Now they can tack another first onto this impressive list: that of creating the first in-flight social network.
It’s time for some WiFi news, as another international carrier is jumping on the in-flight connectivity bandwagon. This week it’s Air India that’s getting ready to install wires, switches, and antennas in hopes of keeping passengers happy and logged on during their time up in the air.
Details are kind of limited at this point, but the carrier has announced that WiFi is coming to both their big planes and little planes—on both domestic and international journeys. Right now they’re still reviewing PowerPoint presentations and other sales pitches, but it does sound like Thales is just one of the companies in the running to install the WiFi bits and pieces.
In-Flight WiFi / WiFi / JetBlue / Fly-Fi / Travel Tech / → All Tags
It seems like only yesterday that JetBlue was flipping the switch to finally inaugurate their Fly-Fi in-flight internet, but in reality a few months have passed and, with them, more aircraft with the super fast in-flight WiFi are taking off on tarmacs.
The airline now has nine Airbus A320s hooked up with Fly-Fi, and they've released a handy-dandy updated list of Fly-Fi routes those aircraft will operate. It's a growing list, with nearly 35 daily flights able to go about their internet business as usual from 35,000'.
Access to Fly-Fi is still free at the basic level. To see if it's worth your time and how the system compares to other airline's in-flight WiFi, check out our hands-on review of the system.
For those who have been waiting for even more up in the air connectivity in Canada, the wait is now over. Gogo has been busy at work running wires, writing code, checking settings, and doing all the behinds the scenes stuff to get things ready to go. It now looks like they have flipped the switch to go live, as they just announced that the first phase of their Canadian WiFi network is now open for business.
Things are very similar to the connectivity down in the nifty fifty, but in Canada they are pairing some of their original air-to-ground technology with some next generation stuff. There’s even some hybrid and satellite technology solutions, and these ground-to-orbit goodies can offer up peak speeds of more than 70 Mbps. Let’s just say Gogo is pretty darn happy with themselves right now, and we think rightfully so.
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Gogo Vision is coming to at least 75 new airplanes and aircraft, and the new service will make use of Gogo's Ku-band satellite service for the planes getting the connectivity. It will take some time to install for the carrier’s fleet of Boeing 737s, but they already have a goal in mind. It sounds like in-flight WiFi as well as Gogo Vision should be good to go during the second half of 2014.
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If you're taking to the skies any time in the next few days, there's a good chance that you can while away the hours with your laptop or mobile device. Thanks to the folks over at Gogo and Charmin (yeah, the toilet paper people), flyers can access Facebook for free during the busy holiday travel season.
Starting today and running through December 30th on seven airlines, Charmin will open the social media browsing session for free. "Like" friend's updates, post photos of their in-flight snack, and check out their 2013 year-in-review status update. Just be cautious because, if you start clicking on external links, you will be asked for your credit card details to fork over some cash for full access.
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[Update: To view what routes will have Fly-Fi each day, check the frequently updated list on JetBlue's blog]
December, 2007: JetBlue christens an Airbus A320 "BetaBlue" and becomes the first airline to offer in-flight WiFi, even if it is extremely limited and quickly outdated.
December, 2013: JetBlue again launches an Airbus A320 with in-flight WiFi, but this time the focus is on freedom and a tech-positive future. The system is called Fly-Fi and it promises to do everything other in-flight networks cannot, and still go beyond. It is the Survivor of in-flight WiFi networks, designed to "Outwit Outplay Outlast."
It was only this morning that Fly-Fi saw its first official flight, and we were onboard. Naturally we tried our very best to break the network or at least throttle it, but to no avail; Fly-Fi is a beast of technology, an in-flight WiFi network passengers can finally rely on, and likely even come to love.
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The chips are certainly falling in JetBlue's favor lately. First, their new "Mint" premium seats sell out minutes after going on sale, and now the FAA approves gate-to-gate gadget use just as the airline revs up for the debut of their own satellite-supported in-flight WiFi network, "Fly-Fi."
In fact, the switch has already been flipped and JetBlue is the midst of a trial period, allowing users to log on and surf the web for free (it will remain free) and push the system to its limits. The specific aircraft to watch for is tail number N534JB (and possibly also N804JB). From Zach Honig at Engadget, we know it's flown on the JFK-Austin route and, from Seth at The Wandering Aramean, it's also made a run or two down to Orlando.