American beats Delta to in-flight Wi-Fi

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American Airlines has become the first US carrier to offer a Wi-Fi service on domestic flights.

The airline is using Aircell’s Gogo system, which uses a network of 92 towers across the United States to establish data links with aircraft.

Delta had already its plans to offer the Aircell service but not until the autumn.

“Today, U.S. air travel changes forever,” said Jack Blumenstein, president of Aircell.

“American Airlines is the first to bring in-flight Internet to market, and today the days of being cut off from the rest of the world while in the air become history.

The service will be available on American’s Boeing 767-200 aircraft on nonstop flights between New York and San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, and New York and Miami.

The airline will charge $12.95 on flights more than three hours, just as will Delta’s proposed service, and voice over IP calls will not be allowed.

“With today’s launch, American Airlines makes history as the first and only U.S. airline to offer customers full in-flight Internet connectivity,” said Dan Garton, American’s executive vice president of marketing.

Airlines have had the ability to offer Wi-Fi on board for some time but with the rising costs of fuel causing shrinking margins the economic case is now clear and more and more airlines are to offer the service, despite earlier failures.

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