If you wondering whether or not WiFi will be available on your next flight, look no further. On the Beach Holidays, a value priced travel agency based in the U.K., has published The DEFINITIVE guide to Airline WiFi and Internet Access on their website. No more gussing whether or not your business travel will put you out of touch with the office for several hours while flying. The site lists WiFi enabled flights by type of service, airline then flight number.
With the expansion of WiFi service in the air, you’ll certainly hear some businesspeople crying about the fact that flying time is the only time they have to catch-up without being bombarded by email and other types of communication. I have the answer for them: Fine, don’t check it. Read your inflight magazine or whatever it is that you do.
The prices for this satellite-based service have been prohibitive in the past on CBB (Connection by Boeing) providers but from now until the end of 2006, you can expect free WiFi on CBB enabled flights. At that time, Boeing is planning on terminating the service. The future of airline WiFi isn’t really certain after the end of this year, but surely someone will pick up where Boeing is leaving off, considering the MASSIVE demand for this type of service. A second type of service called OnAir, which is also a satellite-based service, is available on some airlines. At this time, this service is restricted to email, IM and SMS.
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I think future potential providers should take to heart the words of the great Dave Matthews:
Everything good needs replacing
Look up, look down all around, hey satellite
Rest high above the clouds no restrictions
Sam, the Technology Editor for On the Beach Holidays and author of the guide, may be knighted soon for his efforts in this project. Go Sam!