Why Fly Without Wi-Fi

It’s no secret, we’re always connected.  Whether it be via BlackBerry, iPhone or 35,000 feet in the air.  Henry Harteveldt, principal airline analyst with Forrester, tells Boston Globe reporter Paul Makishima, “In today’s tough business climate, in-flight Wi-Fi is as essential as the beverage cart.” 

Virgin Airlines was the first to offer internet to its passengers.  AirTran, American and Delta are next on the list.  Southwest, which carries more passengers than any other U.S. airline, is also testing Wi-Fi on four of its planes. 

Makishima also reports , “For the most part, all the Wi-Fi services work the same.  Passengers pay a fee, generally about $8 to $13 depending on the length of the flight, and the service is provided by a contractor, the largest being Aircell LLC of Itasca, Ill, under its Gogo In-flight Internet brand.” 

Airlines are expecting these Wi-Fi services to be both popular and profitable and analysts are even predicting a cost savings, as airlines may be able to remove their in-flight entertainment services, ridding excess weight making the planes more fuel efficient.

I think airline Wi-Fi is a good idea, it entertains people for hours on end.  Personally, I only like flying JetBlue because of their DirecTV service, but now I have other options.  I just hope that with the generated profits, airlines will start to bring back the snack service!



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