American Offers In-Flight Internet

American Airlines jets on tarmac, John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, 2007/8/29 AP

American Airlines passengers will now have Wi-Fi access on some flights.

The airline said Wednesday that it has finally launched its in-flight Internet access service via Wi-Fi on 15 of its 767-200 airplanes. The service, called Gogo, will be offered on nonstop flights between New York and San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, and New York and Miami. The cost is $12.95 per flight. Passengers will be able to sign up when they boot up their browsers.

The airline will be restricting the use of voice over IP services, such as Skype, and it will still restrict the use of cell phones in flight.

Gogo is a service offered by Aircell, which is also providing Wi-Fi access to Delta Air Lines planes. Earlier this month, Delta said it was outfitting all of its domestic fleet with Wi-Fi by the middle of next year. Virgin America, which is also using Aircell's Gogo service, will launch its service by the end of the year, the company has said.

And JetBlue Airways is testing its Wi-Fi access on routes between San Francisco and New York. Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines are also testing in-flight Wi-Fi. And others such as United Airlines are considering offering Wi-Fi, but it hasn't announced tests or a commercial launch.

Aircell's pricing is uniform across all the airlines that use it. The company charges $9.95 for flights of three hours or less. And it's $12.95 for all flights over three hours. Initially, American Airlines will only be offering Wi-Fi on coast-to-coast flights.

By Marguerite Reardon
  • CBSNews

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