In-flight Wi-Fi. It’s a wave of the future that has been slowly sweeping the airline industry. Most U.S. airlines are working their way towards onboard Internet (more on that below), but until today, no airline had rolled out Wi-Fi across all aircraft and flights. But now, in proper Virgin America style, the airline has turned the volume up to 11 and announced Internet at every seat on every flight.
The service is available on laptops for $9.95 on flights less than three hours or $12.95 for flights three hours or longer, and on all flights for $7.95 on handheld devices.
Until at least midsummer, Virgin America may be the only airline to offer airline-wide Wi-Fi. AirTran announced it will have it fleetwide by July. Delta has it on 40 percent of its pre-merger aircraft, and American will install it on 300 planes in the next two years. JetBlue has it on one plane so far (but doesn’t charge for it). Southwest is testing in on four planes.
The thought of in-flight cell phone use makes me shudder, but I’m a big fan of being able to use email and the Internet during flights. What about you? Is this an exciting development in your book? Are you more likely to seek out Virgin America flights to take advantage of the offering?