I’m not sure who will be happier, business travelers looking to get a little extra work done or parents on the move who need to find a way to entertain their children during a flight. Either way, the news is good.
United Continental Holdings, Inc. has announced that they have selected Panasonic Avionics Corporation to make WiFi available on over 300 of their Airbus 319 and 320 and Boeing 747, 757, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft beginning in mid-2012.
For overseas flights, Ku-band technology will be used in order to provide uninterrupted service to United and Continental passengers. Not only is this something no other carrier currently offers, it is likely music to the ears of jet-setters who could make better use of their traveling time.
Future predictions have United Continental Holdings offering WiFi across their entire fleet by 2015.
This addition is going to be important in order for United Airlines and Continental Airlines to remain competitive with so many other airlines already offering WiFi for their clients, several of which doing so with Panasonic competitor Gogo. Whiles users of Gogo are happy to have WiFi at 10,000 feet most feel the service comes at much too high a cost, with unlimited access coming in at nearly US $40 per month.
Moves like this seem to support the idea that Internet access is becoming a requirement and a need as much as a luxury and useful tool. With business being done at the speed of the Internet not having access for a few hours can be a huge obstacle.
United Continental Holdings, Inc. engages over 80,000 employees to operate 5,717 flights a day to 376 airports on six continents for both United Airlines and Continental Airlines.
Would you choose an airline based on whether they provide WiFi? Do you appreciate the availability of WiFi so you can check emails and browse the web on your iPad, or do you miss the days when being in a flight to somewhere meant actually being allowed to be ‘unplugged’ for a few hours?