For years, traveling by air meant that you were out of touch with those on the ground. A few aircraft offered phone service from air to ground, but very few passengers took advantage of the service due to high-costs. More dreaded by business people was not being able to connect to corporate networks to work during a flight.
That has all begun to change, at least for connecting to networks while in the air. Domestic airlines are lining up to offer Aircell's Gogo Inflight Internet service to their passengers at $9.95 per user for flights less than three hours and $12.95 for flight lasting over three hours.
Aircell already counts among its customers American Airlines, Air Canada, Virgin America, and Delta. In August, Delta boasted that it would be the first domestic airline to offer Gogo internet access to all passengers on its complete domestic fleet of aircraft. Aircell notes that Delta Airlines is set to launch its Gogo service before the end of 2008.
Aircell has called 2009 the year of inflight internet and says that it will have Gogo Internet service in place on 2,000 commercial aircraft by the end of 2009. American Airlines debuted the Gogo service on its fleet of 767-200 aircraft in August and Virgin America announced Gogo service in November. Aircell says that it will expand its Gogo entertainment offerings to provide rich multimedia applications like games, TV, and movies in addition to the VPN access, email, IM and other things it offers already.
Jack Blumenstein, CEO of Aircell said in a statement, "2008 was a year of groundbreaking milestones for Aircell culminating in the successful launches of Gogo Inflight Internet service on American Airlines and Virgin America. 2009 promises to be Aircell's most extraordinary year yet. We are ending 2008 on a high note with the recent launch of Virgin America and upcoming launch of Delta Air Lines and are poised to carry the momentum into the new year and beyond."