posted on Apr, 21 2004 @ 09:46 AM
SEATTLE, Washington (AP) -- Delayed after post-September 11 airline turmoil and bumped by its original U.S. patrons, Boeing Co.'s Internet service
for commercial airplanes is finally getting airborne.
The launch of Connexion by Boeing on Lufthansa this spring comes nearly two years later than originally intended, after hard times in the airline
industry forced the company to jettison its original business plan.
The system also is being offered at a time people expect fast, easy and reliable Internet access nearly everywhere, from coffee shops to hotel rooms.
So the stakes are high and any glitches potentially perilous, analysts say.
Airlines can choose to offer Connexion with either wireless or wired connections; so far, Connexion spokesman Sean Griffin said all the airlines have
chosen wireless because it's easier to install and doesn't weigh as much.
To get on the system, a user will need a wireless-capable laptop. Users can sign up for the system beforehand at Connexion's Web site or access a Web
site in-flight to set up an account and start payment.
Boeing's service will cost from $9.95 for 30 minutes to $29.95 for full access on flights longer than six hours. At that price, analysts say, the
company may interest business travelers but is unlikely to secure leisure travelers - especially those cramped in the middle seat in coach, where just
opening a laptop can be difficult.
I'm excited about this, anytime something new comes about to make our lives easier and more efficient, that's a good thing, but how will this become
a bad thing ?