Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 07:36:35 am
Joined: 15 Jun 2005
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Delta Press Release Below
Delta to Become Only Major U.S. Airline to Offer Broadband Wi-Fi Access on Entire Domestic Mainline Fleet
Aircellâ??s Gogo inflight Internet service to be available in first and economy classes on more than 330 Delta aircraft in 2009, the most expansive inflight broadband offering of any U.S. air carrier
ATLANTA, Aug. 5, 2008 â?? Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) customers traveling throughout the continental United States will soon be offered the added convenience of broadband Wi-Fi access onboard the airlineâ??s domestic fleet of more than 330 mainline aircraft.
Delta is joining with AircellÂ®, a 17-year leader in airborne communications for business and commercial aviation, to install the companyâ??s Mobile Broadband Network on the carrierâ??s domestic fleet. The system, Gogoâ?¢, will enable Delta customers traveling with Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, smartphones and PDAs, to access the Internet, corporate VPNs, corporate and personal e-mail accounts, as well as SMS texting and instant messaging services. Gogo will be available to customers for a flat fee of $9.95 on flights of three hours or less, and $12.95 on flights of more than three hours.
â??Delta remains committed to providing a travel experience that maximizes the time our customers spend with us onboard by offering them even more productivity options,â? said Richard Anderson, Deltaâ??s chief executive officer. â?Our customers asked for in-flight connectivity, and weâ??re responding by rolling out the most extensive Wi-Fi network in the sky. Beginning this fall, our passengers will have the ability to stay connected when they travel with us throughout the continental U.S.â?
Gogo will be offered initially on Deltaâ??s fleet of 133 MD88/90 aircraft and will rapidly expand to the remaining domestic fleet of more than 200 Boeing 737, 757 and 767-300 aircraft throughout the first half of 2009. The airline expects to have more than 330 aircraft complete by summer 2009. The full fleet agreement between Aircell and Delta will provide a consistent, convenient experience for customers traveling on the airline who wish to use the Gogo Internet service.
â??The advent of Air-To-Ground (ATG) technology has made broadband connectivity in the cabin economically viable for the first time for commercial airlines,â? said Jack Blumenstein, President and CEO, Aircell. â??The game has changed and Delta will be among the first to provide an enhanced customer experience with broadband Wi-Fi access on more than 1,000 daily flights within the U.S.â?
In addition to being the most cost-effective in-flight broadband technology available, the Aircell system is extremely light, requires minimal space on the aircraft and is installed overnight, making it a sound investment in a competitive, high fuel-price environment.
Aircell LLC is the worldâ??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, known as Gogoâ?¢, will revolutionize the commercial airline passenger flight experience, 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. Aircellâ??s vision is to give everyone the ability to stay in touch, in flightâ?¢. For more information about Aircell, please visit http://www.aircell.com/.
Gogoâ?¢, 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 any e-mail, Instant Message, access their corporate VPN and more. Plus, Gogo includes free access to valuable online content from The Wall Street JournalÂ® and Frommerâ??sÂ®. For more information about Gogo, please visit http://www.gogoinflight.com/.
Delta Air Lines operates service to more worldwide destinations than any airline with Delta and Delta Connection flights to 312 destinations in 61 countries. Delta has added more international capacity than any major U.S. airline during the last two years and is the leader across the Atlantic with flights to 44 trans-Atlantic markets. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers 393 weekly flights to 47 destinations. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on more than 16,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Including its SkyTeam and worldwide codeshare partners, Delta offers flights to 500 worldwide destinations in 105 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and flight status at delta.com.
Source of news release : http://news.delta.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=11127
I'd stay a NW customer after the merger if DL does this. I'd have no problem spending that kind of money to surf the web in flight. I also hope this news story finally busts the myth that the laptops in transmit mode somehow disrupt the electronics in flight. Best move DL has made in years.
Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:26:22 pm
Joined: 17 Jun 2005
Location: Carmel, IN
I would totally use this as well. But I'm not all that excited, for three reasons.
1. Unless I'm in a great exit row or bulkhead seat, or have the fortune of being upgraded to the front, the seat pitch in Coach isn't sufficient for me to open my laptop on the plane. In order to do so, I have to keep the screen on the laptop angled toward the keyboard, which then makes it very tough to see the screen clearly while typing. OK, maybe I need to lose 20 lbs, but I'm not a big dude in any case. So unless I really need to, I usually don't open my laptop on the plane unless I've got a seat conducive to it.
2. I assume this isn't going to be available on RJ's. And it seems like I fly RJ's about 80% of the time anymore. I have about a 50% chance of an RJ on DL out of Indy, but the cities I fly to most tend to be Indy-sized or smaller and served mostly or wholly by RJs. So unless you fly mostly between big cities or transcon routes, you won't get much chance to use this new service.
3. I also end up connecting probably 60% of the time I fly. From Indy, you rarely fly more than 2 hours, maybe 2:15 on any one leg of a connection, unless you're flying to the west coast. I'd say most of the time the flight is around 1:30 scheduled, which means you get maybe 40 minutes above FL10 when you're allowed to turn on your electronic devices. When I travel for business, if I have work to do, I'll pay the $10 to use the service. But I'm much more likely to leave the laptop turned off if all I'm gonna get is 30-40 minutes of use out of it.
IMHO, all these things are great. But it's not a sustainable competitive advantage for DL. Any other airline will be able to add this service after DL starts to offer it. If airlines really want to do good business, they should drop the gimmicks and just focus on getting people from point A to point B on time, for a reasonable price, with good customer service and reasonable comfort.