As in-flight Internet service provider Gogo continues to enhance its product with the addition of satellite networks for overseas flights, Delta has been gradually equipping its international aircraft with that new technology. And now it has finished a major piece of that effort, offering high-speed Wi-Fi on all of its transatlantic flights.
Delta said this week that the Ku-band satellite service is now available on up to 83 daily roundtrip flights across the pond, including all its London Heathrow flights as well as service to 27 European cities, Tel Aviv, and the African destinations of Accra, Dakar and Lagos.
Besides the paid Wi-Fi service, Delta said customers who bring personal electronic devices on those routes can also get free access to its Delta Studio selection of streaming movies and TV programs.
After finishing the latest installations, Delta said that the addition of satellite Wi-Fi to its 767s, 747s, A330s and transoceanic 757s in addition to its domestic aircraft now gives it “the world’s largest Wi-Fi equipped fleet.”
Buy one, get one. Gogo is currently offering a special deal on Delta Wi-Fi; through February 29, Gogo said on its website, customers who buy one Delta Global Day Pass for $28 will get a second one for free — a savings of $60 over the in-flight purchase price. Each pass is good for 24 hours of access on any Gogo-equipped Delta flight, and they’re valid for a year.
United Airlines is also making considerable progress in equipping its long-haul fleet with satellite-based Wi-Fi. The airline says on its website that all 74 of its 777s now have Wi-Fi, as do all 22 of its 747-400s and 98 percent of its 767s. Installations on its 787 Dreamliners are 68 percent finished, covering 17 aircraft, United said, with completion of all the rest slated for June.
The cost of Internet access on United aircraft “will vary,” the airline says, although it gives no examples, and notes that it does not offer daily, weekly or monthly Wi-Fi passes, “but we may offer these options in the future.”
“We are in the process of launching a newly designed portal with multiple payment options,” United notes. “With this new portal, on select aircraft, you will have additional Internet access options, such as time-based plans (e.g., 30 minutes, 1 hour) or full flight access, as well as the ability to purchase Internet with your MileagePlus award miles or a saved credit card in your MileagePlus account.”
American Airlines currently offers international Wi-Fi service on its 787s, 777-300ERs and “select” 777-200s (it doesn’t say how many), at rates ranging from $12 for two hours to $19 for the full flight.
What’s your experience been when using wi-fi on international flights? From my seat, I get better coverage over an ocean than I do over land, but maybe that’s just me? Comments, please!
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