A mere 4 months after the initial announcement, Delta Airlines and Aircell are kicking off the launch of the first 6 aircraft with inflight Internet access tomorrow.
We have been covering Aircell and their Gogo inflight Internet service for some time now, and I’ve been quite impressed by the speed at which they are getting the equipment installed on aircraft. The first Delta planes with broadband Internet access will be on 5 of the MD-88 shuttle fleet and one 757.
Aircraft with the service can be recognized by a “Wi-Fi hotspot” decal next to the boarding door.
If this good news wasn’t enough to make you happy, Aircell also let me know that access to the service will be free till the end of the year. You’ll find the Gogo Inflight Internet equipped aircraft on Delta Shuttle routes between LaGuardia and Boston, as well as LaGuardia and Washington Reagan. The 757 will be flying regular domestic flights, so make sure to check for that decal!
The current schedule for adding inflight Internet to the Delta fleet is to have 10 aircraft in operation by the end of the year, and to have the entire fleet outfitted by the end of 2009. Once the Delta branded fleet has been outfitted, engineers will begin work on the Northwest Airlines fleet, which is now part of Delta.
2009 is going to be a fantastic year for those of us who need more than an inflight movie to stay entertained, and once Internet is more readily available, I’m convinced that some people may even change their airline loyalty to pick an airline that has invested in this kind of service. So far, 4 airlines have commited to the Aircell Gogo service (American Airlines, Air Canada, Delta/Northwest and Virgin America).