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United Airlines Offers Satellite Wi-Fi on International Flights
It looks as if United Airlines is finally catching up to the speed. The airline announced they will be including satellite based Wi-Fi on all international flights. United rolled out their first Boeing 747 aircraft last week equipped with the new Wi-Fi. The airline has immediate plans to beginning installing the new service on 300 of their airplanes by the end of 2013. The new satellite Wi-Fi is faster and has a further reach then the currently used ground based Wi-Fi United has on some of their current airplanes.
United is now the first U.S carrier to offer its customers the ability to stay connected on those long haul flights. Delta Airlines says they plane to start equipping their fleet with the new satellite Wi-Fi in early 2013. Delta currently has the most airplanes with Wi-Fi of all the U.S carriers.
United has struggled to keep up with their competitors regarding Wi-Fi. The airline has very few airplanes that have the ground based service. Delta for example has all of their mainline jets as well as many of their regional partners equipped with Wi-Fi. This opens a new door for a popular consumer product. Many passengers recently polled said they would opt in to purchase on board Wi-Fi on flights over three hours in duration.
United says their customers can choose between two speeds. The slower, standard service can be purchased between $3.99 and $14.99, depending on the length of the flight. The faster service will cost passengers between $5.99 and $19.99.
United plans to install the new service on 20 planes a month in 2013, mainly on their international routes at first. The airplanes that will have the Wi-Fi include their Airbus A319 , A320 aircraft as well as their Boeing 747, 787, 777, 767, 757 and 737 jets.