It’s easy to get wireless internet access in an airplane – much harder (or impossible at this time) to get it in the air.
However, it looks like United Airlines might be one of the first US airlines to start offering WiFi, working with Verizon.
USA Today writes United said Monday that it received regulatory approval to be the first U.S. airline to install cabin equipment for Wi-Fi Internet service.
Dennis Cary, a United marketing executive, said the airline hopes eventually to install the service on its international flights. Pricing for access is “still being worked out,” he said. In bankruptcy-court protection since December 2002, United hopes the service will generate profit and attract more passengers.
Wireless Internet access has been available since last year at some foreign airlines, which have used satellites to beam transmission. Lufthansa, for example, charges a flat fee of $29.95 a flight or $9.95 a half-hour. Some domestic airlines are looking into adopting a similar technology, said Terrance Scott, a spokesman for Connexion, a Boeing unit that provides the Lufthansa service.