Gogo Inflight Internet introduces all-you-can-eat monthly pass

Fans (and heavy users) of Gogo Inflight Internet will be happy to learn that the company behind the airborne Internet provider now offers a monthly subscription to their service.

The new Gogo Inflight Internet monthly subscription can be purchased through the web portal on flights operated by AirTran, American Airlines, Delta Airlines and Virgin America – but the pass itself will work on all airlines equipped with the Gogo service. The new subscription product costs $34.95 for 30 days – and auto renews (unless canceled).

If you use Gogo more than three times a month on flights longer than three hours, this new plan is for you –

Gogo Inflight Internet is now available on over 800 aircraft across 6 airlines. Later this year, Alaska Airlines and Continental Airlines will join the lineup

US Airways launches Gogo Inflight Internet

Nine months after their initial announcement, US Airways and Gogo Inflight Internet have started offering wireless Internet access on the first aircraft in the US Airways fleet.

The service is currently installed on five Airbus A321 planes – and by June 1st, it’ll be available on all 51 Airbus A321’s.

Passengers boarding a US Airways A321 can tell whether their plane is one of the lucky five by keeping an eye out for a W-Fi symbol by the boarding doors. In addition to this, information will be placed in the seat back pocket, and flight attendants will make announcements once the plane reaches 10,000 feet.

From today, through June 1st, first time Gogo users will get a free session when they create a profile and US Airways will be offering complimentary access to everyone on their Gogo equipped planes from June 1st through June 8th.

Access starts at just $4.95 for flights under 1 ½ hours. US Airways has a mini-site with information available at usairways.com/gogo which is where you’ll find a more comprehensive pricing chart.



Inflight Wi-Fi provider Aircell secures a massive round of new financing

Things are looking very good for inflight Wi-Fi provider Aircell. They just passed the 700 installed plane milestone, nine commercial airlines have committed to the service, and they are on track to introduce a new streaming video service on a trial basis.

Of course, when you go from just 1 plane to 700 in a little over a year, you are probably burning through cash like it is going out of style. Which is why today’s news of a new financing round is great news for travelers. The company secured $176 Million, a fantastic feat in an otherwise gloomy financial market.

With at least one new plane a day being outfitted with the equipment required for in-flight Internet access, we slowly move towards the magic day when all major carriers have Wi-Fi on a majority of their fleet.

The next step in in-flight Wi-Fi — video on demand in the skies

When I was at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I had the chance to sit down with one of the executives from Aircell, the company behind the Gogo Inflight Internet service (amongst other things).

Aircell was not at CES to demonstrate anything new, and they had not rented a booth, but they were still interested in letting Gadling in on a couple of new developments. The developments all revolve around video in the skies. I had already heard that “video would be important” when I visited their headquarters last year, but things are really getting serious now.

Here is what their development means for us travelers:

On board the plane, you’ll be able to open up your laptop, connect to Wi-Fi, and purchase/rent a movie or TV show. I was given a glimpse of the interface, and while I can’t share exactly what it looks like, think Hulu meets iTunes. Exact pricing has not been set just yet.

The assortment will vary from blockbuster movies, to TV shows, along with some oldies. Like many video services, movies are rented for 30 days, and once you press “play”, you have 24 hours to finish watching the show (and yes – you can order the movie on the plane, then watch it at your destination on the ground). The programming will be stored on a server on the plane – and according to Aircell, deployment of their video solution involves little more than some minor modifications to existing equipment.

Of course, since the inflight video market is currently non-existent, rolling out this service will be done slowly – mainly to see how the technology holds up, and to determine how users feel about renting a movie on a plane. Personally, I can see this being a fantastic way to kill some time. With so many airlines simply removing inflight entertainment, you are on your own to stay entertained. It isn’t too hard to gather up some content when on the ground, but if the price is the same, I’d have no problem ordering a movie on a plane. As more computers finally come with batteries that last beyond 2 hours, you’ll no longer have to count on the airline to provide something to watch.

Expect the Gogo inflight video system to appear later this year. The airline and exact date have not yet been announced.

Continental Airlines selects Gogo for inflight Internet

This morning, Continental Airlines announced that it has selected the Aircell Gogo Inflight Internet service to provide its passengers with wireless access in the skies.

Continental is the ninth airline to sign up with Aircell, previously Air Canada, AirTran Airways, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines (and Northwest), United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America started installing the service. Of those airlines, AirTran and Virgin America have completed a fleet-wide rollout. By the end of 2009, the Gogo Inflight service will be available on over 700 aircraft.

Continental plans to start slowly – they’ll begin work in Q2 2010, and initially only offer Gogo Inflight on their fleet of 21 Boeing 757-300 aircraft.

No plans have been unveiled for a fleet-wide rollout on Continental. According to “The Wandering Aramean“, Continental is still committed to two different systems; Gogo Inflight and the JetBlue LiveTV developed Kiteline.