Alaska Airlines will be the first U.S. airline carrier to test satellite internet service on their flights. The wireless internet will be tested on one plane. If that goes well all 114 of their planes will get the service.
The airline, based in Seattle, is getting broadband service from a company called Row 44 Inc. They’ll put the service on a Boeing 737 jet next spring. The connection will hold over water and across international borders. They fly to Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico.
You’ll be able to connect your laptop or smart phones. What will the service cost? That is still being worked out. They are still researching the cost, even considering free service for some passengers to a day pass.
Alaska Airlines isn’t the first to try offering internet access on places. In August, American Airlines said they would test high-speed Internet access on some of its Boeing 767 jets. They are using cell towers not satellites.
Boeing tried to offer the service but stopped when they couldn’t get enough airlines to sign on. Some of that was affected by 9/11 and perhaps because the service was quite expensive. Their service was also by satellite and cost $10 for the first hour, or $27 for 24 hours.
I for one, can’t wait until I can blog in-flight. Looks like it may not be far off. I’ll start planning my trip to Mexico first.