Tag Archives: WiFi

Virgin America partners with ViaSat for faster cabin WiFi service and video streaming

Virgin America cabin (VA)(LRW)

Virgin America (San Francisco) today announced a new technology partnership with ViaSat Inc. (VSAT), an innovator in broadband and communication technologies and services, that will bring significantly faster WiFi connectivity to the airline’s 10 new A320 aircraft deliveries, beginning in September of this year. Through this latest connectivity partnership, Virgin America will tap the power and economics of ViaSat-1, the highest capacity Ka-band satellite in the world offering 140 gigabits-per-second, to deliver the fastest WiFi connectivity service for high-quality video streaming.

Virgin America logo

According to the airline;

ViaSat’s technology will deliver internet speeds that are typically 8 to 10 times faster than any other in-flight WiFi system – allowing travelers to experience internet speeds similar to what they have at home, with the freedom to watch, stream video and shop directly on any connected device when in-flight. With this new technology, Virgin America will become the first commercial airline to offer an in-flight WiFi service that can operate in both Ku- and Ka-band satellite networks on the same aircraft. By deploying ViaSat’s new hybrid Ku/Ka-band antenna Virgin America can keep travelers connected virtually anywhere they fly, ensuring guests always have the best available connection in any given location. ViaSat’s new hybrid Ku/Ka-band antenna will enable in-flight WiFi connectivity on flights serving the airline’s new Hawaiian destinations as of 2016.

Virgin America will begin installation of ViaSat’s systems immediately – with the first Ka-band antenna equipped aircraft to take flight in the continental U.S. in September 2015. Aircraft scheduled for Hawaii flights will be outfitted with ViaSat’s hybrid Ku/Ka-band antenna in early 2016. During the beta period rollout of the ViaSat product, Virgin America will offer free WiFi access on its first ViaSat equipped aircraft. The airline will introduce pricing for the service in 2016.

Virgin America seat 2 (VA)(LRW)

The news today builds on Virgin America’s announcement last month that it is upgrading to a new beta version of its Red® in-flight entertainment system. The new Red Beta creates an even more immersive in-flight entertainment experience with higher resolution capacitive touch screens, Android-based software that will allow for faster, real-time updates, three times more content – including full seasons of favorite television shows, more interactive maps, videogames including classics like Pac Man and Asteroids – along with the first surround-sound listening experience to be offered by an airline.

In addition to being the only U.S. airline to offer fleetwide WiFi as of 2009 and power outlets at every seat, Virgin America has made continuous investments in its in-flight connectivity system, including upgrading its full fleet to the latest generation ground-based WiFi system as of 2014 and now investing in the most advanced satellite-based WiFi system with ViaSat Exede® In the Air for its next 10 aircraft deliveries – giving guests the ability to access content beyond what is stored in the aircraft to stream online video content to their device over the internet. The airline has not yet made a technology decision with respect to the rest of the fleet. The innovative quality of the airline’s current product continues to capture all the major travel awards – including once again being named today as “Top Domestic Airline” in the prestigious annual Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards for the eighth year in a row – the only U.S. airline with that distinction.

All photos by Virgin America.

Virgin America aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

 

Video:

American Airlines to add streaming video service to an additional 200+ aircraft

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today made this announcement about expanding its streaming video service:

American Airlines 2013 logo

American Airlines is putting entertainment options in the hands of more customers by launching its streaming video service on more than 200 additional aircraft in its domestic mainline fleet.

American has already equipped more than 500 aircraft with seat-back video and streaming with its American Spotlight entertainment service. In May, American will add streaming to its fleet of Airbus A319s, A320s and A321s, with plans for some international widebody aircraft, further expanding customers’ access to inflight entertainment options in all cabins.

To celebrate the hundreds of hours of entertainment available on American Spotlight, American is inviting customers to enjoy select movies free of charge through the streaming service. Through June 30, customers can view any of the following six movies.

Big Hero 6
Captain America
Frozen
Guardians of the Galaxy
Into The Woods
Maleficent

In addition, American always offers free, exclusive programming from NBC Universal through streaming, seat-back and overhead entertainment.

The programming is stored on aircraft hardware, ensuring that customers receive high quality streaming; it is offered in addition to air-to-ground Wi-Fi service already offered on all mainline narrow body aircraft.

First-time streaming viewers simply open their browser, look for the Entertainment option and accept Gogo’s invitation to install the Gogo Video Player plug-in, which can be downloaded quickly even during a flight.

They can then start the viewing process by browsing the free and paid content – approximately 200 movies and 200 TV shows.

American already offers complimentary entertainment on all international flights in all cabins and has announced plans for more international Wi-Fi and onboard power ports as part of its $2 billion investment in the customer experience. These investments include more fully lie-flat seats; upgraded aircraft interior, and an improved airport experience with faster, more reliable kiosks and refreshed gate and ticketing areas. This is all in addition to American’s historic fleet renewal, during which it expects to take delivery of 75 new mainline aircraft in 2015.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-231 N120EE (msn 6227) climbs away from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

American Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery only): AG Airline Slide Show

AG You do not have to pay

Delta to upgrade its in-flight Wi-Fi service and expand coverage

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will upgrade the in-flight Wi-Fi service its customers experience with broadband speeds and expanded coverage. The upgrades will extend Wi-Fi access beyond the shores of the North America for customers traveling between the U. S. and Latin America or the Caribbean. Gogo will begin updating Delta’s long-haul domestic aircraft currently using air-to-ground technology with satellite-based technology starting in 2016.

In addition, Delta will support Gogo’s efforts to develop the industry’s newest technology with Gogo’s next generation air-to-ground service for its short-haul aircraft, which will feature faster connection at broadband speeds. Today’s announcement is the latest step Delta is taking to improve the travel experience and continue leading the industry with innovative technology solutions for its customers.

Delta Air Lines WiFi Infographic

Satellite-based 2Ku upgrades

More than 250 of Delta’s aircraft on long-haul domestic, Latin American and Caribbean routes will have access to Wi-Fi when they fly over water or outside existing air-to-ground service areas with the upgrades to 2Ku. The satellite-based system will be installed on:

Boeing 757-300 aircraft
Boeing 757-200 aircraft (above)
Boeing 737-900ER aircraft
Boeing 737-800 aircraft
Airbus A319 aircraft

2Ku service will also be offered on Delta’s Airbus A321 aircraft when they enter the Delta’s fleet beginning in 2016.

Air-to-ground technology improvements

Short-haul domestic aircraft in Delta’s fleet with air-to-ground systems will be upgraded with Gogo’s next generation air-to-ground technology as it becomes available. Delta’s Boeing 717-200, MD-88 and MD-90 aircraft are slated to get the system and will also offer significantly upgraded speeds.

International Wi-Fi

Delta has completed installation of Ku-band satellite Wi-Fi on more than one-third of its international fleet and will be 85 percent complete by the end of 2015. In mid-2016, its entire international fleet, including all of its Boeing 777, 767, 747, Airbus A330 and transoceanic Boeing 757 aircraft operating on long-haul routes will offer Wi-Fi. The addition of in-flight Internet on nearly 150 aircraft will expand the number of Delta’s aircraft equipped with Wi-Fi to approximately 1,000 to offer customers the most global Wi-Fi access of any carrier. 2Ku service will be offered on Airbus A330-900neo and A350-900 aircraft when they enter the Delta fleet.

Delta Studio

Customers can access free and paid streaming entertainment options through Delta Studio on any of Delta’s Wi-Fi-equipped domestic flights using their own portable electronic devices. With expanded connectivity options, Delta Studio will be available on Caribbean and Latin American routes operated by domestic aircraft. Delta Studio was introduced in 2014 and features a new customer portal with improved navigation for accessing entertainment options. Customers in First Class and Economy Comfort receive complimentary access to premium content while customers in the Economy have access to a wide selection of complimentary entertainment.

Delta already operates the world’s largest Wi-Fi-equipped fleet, with more than 3,500 Internet connected flights daily, including its entire fleet of 620 domestic mainline aircraft. More than 940 Delta aircraft, including all Delta Connection two-class regional jets and more than 35 percent of its international fleet are equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi service offering more than 370,000 customers per day access while in the air.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-232 N695DL (msn 29727) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.

Delta aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Airline Slide Show

AG Building a better website

United Airlines starts Wi-Fi installation on regional jet aircraft

United Airlines (Chicago) has expanded Wi-Fi to the first of its United Express regional aircraft.

The airline will outfit more than 200 Embraer ERJ 175, ERJ 170 and Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets with Gogo’s ATG-4 advanced air-to-ground Wi-Fi product. By mid-2015, United expects to complete installation on nearly all these aircraft.

Additionally, the company will begin providing Personal Device Entertainment on regional jets this year, offering customers hundreds of complimentary movies and television shows to view on their Wi-Fi-enabled iOS and Android devices using United’s mobile app, as well as on laptop computers.

United Wi-Fi and Personal Device Entertainment

United’s regional jet Wi-Fi installations begin as the airline continues to outfit its mainline fleet with Wi-Fi, which the carrier currently offers on nearly three-quarters of its domestic mainline fleet. United also operates more international aircraft with Wi-Fi than any other U.S. airline.

The company has installed Personal Device Entertainment on nearly 200 mainline aircraft, including its entire Boeing 747-400, Airbus A319 and A320 fleets and its nine Boeing 777 aircraft that fly primarily between the continental United States and Hawaii.

Regional Service Upgrades

In addition to Wi-Fi and Personal Device Entertainment, United is further investing in its customers’ regional-jet experience, including:

Adding 120 Embraer ERJ 175 aircraft to the regional fleet, each offering wider seats and aisles than other regional aircraft, large overhead bins and a power outlet at each United First seat; and

Upgrading premium-cabin meal service on United Express this spring by replacing snack boxes with freshly prepared food on flights that are more than 2 hours and 20 minutes, or 800 miles.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest Airlines’ Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N105SY (msn 17000395) waits for its next assignment at the Chicago (O’Hare) hub.

United Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Slide Show

United Express-SkyWest Airlines aircraft slide show:

Virgin America completes the fleetwide installation of Gogo ATG-4 WiFi service

Virgin America (San Francisco) today announced the fleetwide rollout of Gogo’s faster ATG-4 WiFi service – with the completion this week of ATG-4 WiFi installation on its Airbus A319 plane “Jane” (N526VA, above).

In 2009, Virgin America became the first airline to offer Gogo Inflight WiFi service on every flight – a distinction the airline still maintains today.

With a base of tech-forward flyers, the airline has similarly invested in the next generation of WiFi technology – with the rollout of Gogo’s enhanced WiFi product to all 53 of Virgin America’s Airbus A320 Family aircraft. ATG-4 offers a faster average guest experience with peak speeds of 9.8 Mbps to each aircraft – more than triple the peak speed of the 3.1 Mbps available with the first generation of inflight WiFi. To help celebrate this milestone, Virgin America and Gogo are asking guests to share their best “office in the sky” moment on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #OfficeInTheSky for a chance to win a round trip Main Cabin flight for two on Virgin America, a brand new iPad or complimentary Gogo Inflight WiFi service for one year (full terms and conditions available here).

Gogo’s ATG-4 technology includes three industry-leading innovations: the addition of directional antennas and dual modems on each aircraft and the deployment of EV-DO Rev B technology on Gogo’s airborne and ground networks. Utilizing directional antennas and dual modem technology, ATG-4 increases overall peak connection speeds and ensures a more reliable connection to each and every passenger on board who chooses to connect.

Virgin America WiFi (Virgin America)(LR)

The airline’s in-flight connectivity milestones have included:

November 2008: Virgin America streams the first ever “air-to-ground” video stream to YouTube Live – YouTube’s first official real-world user event from the airline’s first WiFi-enabled aircraft

February 2009: The CBS Early Show airs the first-ever live broadcast transmission from a commercial plane – a Virgin America Airbus A320 – via the airline’s in-flight WiFi

May 2009: Virgin America becomes the first U.S. domestic airline to achieve fleetwide WiFi

December 2014: Virgin America is the first U.S. airline to offer next-gen, Gogo ATG-4 Inflight WiFi on every plane

The airline continues to expand its network across the country with flights to Austin, Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Los Cabos, Newark, New York (JFK and LGA), Orlando, Palm Springs (seasonal), Portland, Puerto Vallarta, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma and Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA).

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com (others by Virgin America). Airbus A319-112 N526VA (msn 3347) departs from Los Angeles.

Virgin America aircraft slide service: AG Slide Show

Video: In December 2014, Virgin America became the first airline to install Gogo’s faster ATG-4 WiFi service fleetwide with the installation of the service its Airbus A319 plane “Jane” (N526VA). With the rollout of Gogo’s enhanced WiFi product to all 53 of Virgin America’s Airbus A320 Family aircraft the airline now offers guests peak speeds of 9.8 Mbps – more than triple the peak speed available with the first generation of inflight WiFi.

Watch how each aircraft is converted:

Southwest Airlines previews live TV inflight on five Boeing 737s

Southwest Airlines (Dallas), in conjunction with Row 44, is taking the next step in wireless inflight entertainment with a preview of live TV on five of the carrier’s aircraft, with plans to expand to 20 aircraft by mid-July.  Customers on these select planes will now have the option to purchase live TV consisting of seven sports and news channels, and view on their personal devices.

Flight Attendants will notify the Southwest Customers who are onboard a TV-enabled WiFi aircraft. Those interested in using the TV service during this preview period will have the opportunity to log on to the service through the WiFi portal via their personal WiFi-enabled device (tablets, laptops, WiFi-enabled smart phones, etc).  Live TV is offered as a separate charge from WiFi, so Customers do not have to purchase WiFi to purchase live TV.  The airline will evaluate different price points from $3 to $8 throughout the trial period, with instructions on how to access live TV available via a link on the Southwest Airlines WiFi portal.

Southwest Airlines will offer seven live TV channels on these five aircraft so that Customers can stay abreast of the latest news or sports scores while flying at 35,000 feet:

  • NBC Sports
  • MLB live games from MLB.com
  • NFL Network
  • CNBC
  • MSNBC
  • Fox News
  • Fox Business News

The Row 44 system not only supports this new feature, but it was created with live TV in mind. Customers who are watching TV are accessing a separate portion of the bandwidth specifically dedicated for that use. Both live TV and WiFi usage will be monitored to determine if they perform together seamlessly, and if successful, live TV will be available to all WiFi-enabled planes by the end of the year.

Southwest Airlines maintains the world’s largest satellite-based WiFi fleet with more than 250 connected aircraft and plans to equip the entirety of their Boeing 737-700s and 737-800s (70 percent of its total fleet) by mid-2013. Row 44 offers Southwest Airlines the ability to be flexible as the airline’s needs evolve, and the satellite-based technology ensures that Customers’ access to WiFi and live TV will be uninterrupted during near-International flights over water.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Note the Row 44 embedded device on the top of this aircraft – a quick visual way to denote WiFi-equipped WN aircraft.

Southwest: 

Southwest Airlines signs contract with Row 44 to equip the entire fleet with WiFi

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has concluded its test phase and signed a contract with Row 44 to equip the entire fleet with WiFi.

News link:

blogsouthwest.com/blog/it-is-official-wi-fi-is-on-the-way

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough.

Alaska Airlines starts adding WiFi stickers

 

A close-up of N644AS at San Francisco.  Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin.

A close-up of N644AS at San Francisco. Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin.

 

 

 

 

Please click on photo for full view and caption.

Please click on photo for full view and caption.

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has started adding “WiFi Inflight” stickers.

In other news, the company will operate again to Bethel, Kotzebue and Nome depending on the ash conditions from Mount Redoubt on a day by day basis. Aircraft resting overnight at Anchorage are being wrapped in a protective plastic sealant.