Airlines moving towards offering free Wi-Fi inflight connectivity

A JAL Boeing 777 now offering free Wi-Fi inflight connectivity.
A JAL Boeing 777 landing.

A number of airlines are now offering free Wi-Fi inflight connectivity, including Alaskan Airlines, JetBlue and Japan Air Lines.

Passengers on Alaska Airlines and JetBlue can now surf the web, tweet and access WhatsApp in the air for free.

The two U.S. carriers recently announced their plans to improve their Wi-Fi inflight connectivity.

Alaska Airlines, is currently testing Wi-Fi inflight connectivity to selected messaging apps, including Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and iMessage.

Passengers are only required to log into a “Gogo WiFi” account to register.

JetBlue says that all 227 Airbus A320s, A321s and Embraer 190s on its domestic fleet now offer free Wi-Fi, delivered via ViaSat’s high-speed Ka-band service.

The service allows passengers to stream shows from Amazon Video, shop and access a selection of messenger platforms.

Jamie Perry, Vice President of Marketing, JetBlue, said: “It’s 2017 and our customers expect to be connected everywhere, whether that be from the comfort of their sofa or 35,000 feet above it.

“That’s why we’re so proud that JetBlue is now the only airline to offer free, high-speed Wi-Fi, live TV and movies for all customers on every plane.”

Norwegian also provides its free Wi-Fi on board, delivered by Global Eagle Entertainment’ Airconnect service, on flights within Europe and between the USA and the Caribbean. Norwegian says Wi-Fi is currently not available on its international long-haul flights.

Japan Airlines (JAL) has also announced that it will offer passengers on domestic flights free internet access until 31 August 2017.

The airline has previously offered 15 minutes of free Gogo in-flight internet access, but that has now been extended on all JAL’s domestic aircraft.

JAL initially introduced Wi-Fi and wireless IFE in summer 2014 and has since equipped 77 domestic aircraft with the service.

Passengers using their own electronic devices will see a “free flight pass” button on the Gogo in-air internet landing page. The free service will be available from five minutes after take-off until five minutes before landing.

Gogo holds Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) from the FAA, and certificates from the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau, for connectivity equipment on all aircraft types in JAL’s domestic service, including JAL Boeing 737-800, 767-300,777-200 and 777-300 aircraft.

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