No More Long, Boring Flights!: United Debuts Overseas Wi-Fi
Road warriors rejoice! United Airlines this week debuted satellite-based Wi-Fi, making it the first U.S. airline to offer Internet connectivity during long overseas flights. Prices range from $3.99 to $19.99.
Three United aircraft will feature Panasonic Avionics Corporation's Ku-band satellite technology, including one Boeing 747 and two Airbus 319s. United expects to add the service to 300 planes by the end of the year.
Passengers have a choice of two connection speeds: Standard service is priced between $3.99 and $14.99 depending on the flights' duration. Accelerated services will be priced between $5.99 and $19.99 and offer faster download speeds.
As more airlines add Wi-Fi service to their aircraft, in-flight entertainment options, including streaming content to passengers' own devices, will likely expand. (Read more: Airlines Paving Way for Use of Wi-Fi Devices on Flights: Report)
"Satellite-based Wi-Fi service enables us to better serve our customers and offer them more of what they want in a global airline," said Jim Compton, United's vice chairman and chief revenue officer, in a press release.
Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines already offer satellite-based Wi-Fi service on overseas flights, and Delta Air Lines is adding Wi-Fi service to its international fleet beginning this year. (Read more: Delta Air Lines to Expand Wi-Fi to Overseas Flights)