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Quantas A380 first class with 17" widescreen display  (Source: APC Magazine)
Certain flights to gain Internet access and power for all seat classes

If the thought of a long flight without Internet access curls your toes, Qantas feels your pain. The Australian-based carrier plans to offer power for every seat on its new fleet of Airbus A380s, reports APC Magazine. The company will also retrofit existing Boeing 747-400 aircraft with premium economy seating with laptop power.

The internet access is provided by ONAIR. Those without a laptop can get web access and check email with seat-back entertainment systems.

The company also said premium economy seats would feature USB ports for viewing personal content on the in-flight entertainment system and RJ45 ports for wired access to the Internet. Media playback capabilities for the USB port are still unknown.

A similar in-flight Internet provider, AirCell, claims to offer speeds similar to ground-based digital-subscriber line systems with pricing no more than $10 per day while in-flight.

Pricing for the seatback Qantas service will be $5 for unlimited instant messaging use during flight and $8 for email during flight, with attachments costing extra, said George Cooper, CEO of ONAIR, the company providing the in-flight internet.

Those with their own laptops will have WiFi access to the Internet and private networks, but Qantas has not set pricing for WiFi or Ethernet access yet. Users of the Qantas in-flight Internet access will have to share the 432 kilobit per second connection with all other passengers on the plane.

Qantas will offer premium economy seats on flights to London, Hong Kong, and Johannesburg beginning February 2008. The carrier plans to add more routes when its fleet of Airbus A380s goes online.




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