Insert Bad "Wi-Fli" Pun Here…

Published on March 31, 2009
by John Paczkowski

American Airlines (AMR) domestic passenger jets are fast becoming a fleet of airborne Wi-Fi hotspots. After a successful six-month pilot program on 15 planes, the airline will expand its in-flight Wi-Fi service to 300 more over the next two years.

Provided by Aircell, the service will cost laptop users $9.95 for flights of less than three hours and $12.95 for longer flights. Travelers using Internet-ready handsets will pay $7.95 regardless of the length of their flight. And make no mistake, the data show they will pay. Apparently, $10 is a pittance for distraction when you’re trapped in a center seat on a packed flight with “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” as your only in-flight entertainment.

“[People are] working, they’re doing their e-mail, they’re going into their corporate networks, they’re going to their Facebook page, they’re Twittering, they’re doing YouTube and other video sites, but they’re in fact doing more of it,” Aircell CEO Jack Blumenstein told the Dallas Morning News. “The data shows that people use almost twice as much of data during the course of a session and stay on almost twice as long as when they’re at a hotel or a hotspot on the ground. People clearly are engaged by it when they’re flying.”

[Image credit: Flickr/Bekathwia]

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