Airline broadband turns three – with new services and pricing
By Mike Hanlon
January 18, 2006
January 19, 2006 Though the internet seems to have been with us for an eternity, the world’s first broadband internet service on a commercial airliner had just its third birthday this week. It was on January 15, 2003 that passengers flying aboard a Lufthansa 747-400 first sampled Boeing’s Connexion high-speed internet service. The new service enabled what we’d long dreamed of (or dreaded, depending on your point of view) – seamless, real-time communications, with the speed and quality characteristic of a modern office environment, including Internet access, audio, video, e-mail, VOIP and intranet access. Connexion ushered in the New Year by announcing new pricing and service enhancements for its real-time high-speed Internet and entertainment services to airline passengers in flight. The service enhancements include an expanded delivery of four channels of live global television to airlines that offer the Connexion by Boeing service, and implementation of Yahoo! as the exclusive search engine on the service's portal used by passengers on flights to access the Internet and email. The bargain of the new pricing is a 24-hour price of US$26.95 including connecting flights within 24 hours of sign-in.
Pricing for the service will be simplified, giving passengers more flexibility with four choices based on the amount of time they want to be connected: one hour costs US$9.95, two hours costs US$14.95, three hours costs US$17.95 and the full unlimted 24 hour price of US$26.95 including connecting flights. The new pricing, effective January 31, is based on extensive customer research conducted individually, and in conjunction with, leading airlines in Europe, Asia and the U.S. Beginning Monday, January 23, all airlines equipped with the Connexion by Boeing service may begin offering their passengers four channels of live global TV from their laptops. Live global TV programming is part of the Internet and data access service and is provided at no additional cost to passengers purchasing the Connexion by Boeing service.
The Yahoo! Search Engine feature began on the day of the birthday - January 15.
The television programming, which will be distributed across the Connexion by Boeing global network, consists of BBC World, EuroNews, Eurosportnews, CNBC and MSNBC.