Wi-Fi to Fly in the Sky On American's MD-80s and Boeing 737-800s
FORT WORTH, Texas and ITASCA, Ill., March 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- American Airlines is taking its high-altitude experiment with Wi-Fi out of the trial stage and has decided to install Gogo® Inflight Internet on more than 300 domestic aircraft over the next two years.
The expansion will help American Airlines further enhance its customers' travel experience and meet their evolving travel needs. American, a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, was the first U.S. airline to launch the Gogo service last August. Since then, thousands of customers traveling on 15 of American's Boeing 767-200 aircraft have enjoyed Inflight Internet service primarily on nonstop flights between New York JFK and San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami.
American will install the Aircell® system on its domestic MD-80 and Boeing 737-800 aircraft fleets, beginning with 150 MD-80 aircraft this year.
"We are excited to be able to offer the Gogo high-speed service to customers on other aircraft within the American Airlines domestic fleet, starting with the MD-80s," said Dan Garton, American's Executive Vice President-Marketing. "Our trial over the past six months offered customers the choice to remain connected to work, home or elsewhere when flying on American Airlines. And it also gave us the ability to study customers' willingness to take advantage of high-speed, onboard connectivity and to gauge how the service performed technically in a variety of settings over an extended period of time. We are pleased that the results were positive and that we have decided to move forward."
Gogo turns an American Airlines flight into a Wi-Fi hotspot, enabling passengers to surf the Web, check e-mail, send instant messages, access a corporate VPN and more. Once the aircraft has reached 10,000 feet, users can simply turn on their Wi-Fi enabled devices - such as laptops, smartphones and handheld PDAs - then open their browsers and be directed to the Gogo portal page where they sign up and begin surfing. Gogo is powered by the Aircell air-to-ground (ATG) system, which uses three small antennas installed outside the aircraft and connects to Aircell's exclusive nationwide mobile broadband network.
Aircell's price for the Gogo service ranges from $7.95 to $12.95 based on length of flight and whether the device is a handheld PDA or a laptop computer. Aircell's pricing plans are:
- Long Flight Pass: $12.95 - Standard price for flights longer than 3 hours
- Short Flight Pass: $9.95 - Standard price for flights 3 hours or less
- Mobile Flight Pass: $7.95 - Mobile device pricing for customers using a handheld device on Gogo-equipped flights of any length
The passenger response to Gogo Inflight Internet has exceeded even our own high expectations, with many people becoming frequent users who rely on it to stay connected to the office, friends and family in their travels," said Jack Blumenstein, President and CEO, Aircell. "We are excited to help American Airlines expand Gogo to the majority of its domestic fleet, enabling more of its passengers to turn flying time into 'me time.' With Gogo, flying becomes whatever you want it to be - productive, entertaining, informative, you name it."
Each paid Gogo session includes full Internet, e-mail and VPN access. Cell phone and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service use will not be available.
About American Airlines
American Airlines, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® airlines serve 250 cities in 40 countries with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning Web site, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve nearly 700 destinations in over 140 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are registered trademarks of American Airlines, Inc.
Aircell is the world's leading provider of airborne communications. As winner of an exclusive FCC frequency license in 2006, Aircell has built a revolutionary mobile broadband network for commercial and business aviation. In 2008, the Aircell Network and its inflight portal, Gogo®, revolutionized the commercial airline passenger flight experience by delivering a robust Internet experience at 35,000 feet. In addition, the Aircell Network provides airlines with connectivity to operations and a path to enhanced cabin services such as video, audio, television and more. A similar feature set is available to Business aircraft operators. Aircell has facilities in Broomfield, Colorado, and Itasca, Illinois. Aircell's vision is to give everyone the ability to stay in touch, in flight®. For more information about Aircell, please visit www.aircell.com.
Gogo®, powered by Aircell®, turns a commercial airplane into a Wi-Fi hotspot with true inflight Internet access. Passengers with Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, smartphones and PDAs, can surf the Web, check e-mail, instant message, access a corporate VPN and more. For more information about Gogo, please visit www.gogoinflight.com.
© 2009 Aircell LLC. Aircell and Gogo are trademarks of Aircell or its affiliates. All rights reserved
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SOURCE: American Airlines
Web site: http://www.aa.com/