Well over a year after the initial announcement of satellite based wifi, UA now has their first international 747-400 equipped with the service. The entire fleet of A319/320 and B737/747/757/767/777/787 are expected to be completed by January 1, 2014.
We’ve introduced onboard satellite-based Wi-Fi internet connectivity on the first of our international wide-body aircraft, which makes us the first U.S.-based international carrier to offer customers the ability to stay connected while traveling on long-haul overseas routes. The Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft is a Boeing 747-400 that serves trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific routes. It’s outfitted with Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s Ku-band satellite technology, offering customers faster inflight Internet service than air-to-ground technology (ATG). We’ve also outfitted two Airbus 319 aircraft serving domestic routes with Ku-band satellite Wi-Fi. The company expects to complete installation of satellite-based Wi-Fi on 300 mainline aircraft by the end of this year. You can choose from two speeds: Standard, priced initially between $3.99 and $14.99 depending on the duration of flight, and Accelerated, priced initially between $5.99 and $19.99 and offering faster download speeds than Standard.
Reader Mark in Dallas tested out the standard Ku-band service yesterday and said it blew the domestic Gogo speeds away. That’s good news considering Gogo is usually too slow to be useful for much more than email and low content browsing.