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Do you ever wish you could connect to the Internet while flying? Then Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines will be your best choices for this capability according to a new survey released on June 24th by Routehappy, which evaluates various amenities on flights. United Airlines is currently the worst choice.
Routehappy says fliers will get the most value from paying for Wi-Fi in economy class when there’s at least 30 inches between seats, which is enough room for someone to open a laptop. Fliers can count on Wi-Fi being available on 38 percent of domestic flights, during 44 percent of their flight time; longer flights have an increased likelihood of having Wi-Fi access.
Top carriers in Chicago, United airlines and American Airlines are currently fitting planes with Wi-Fi capability. Chicago flights in general aren’t likely to have Wi-Fi access; among the top 23 routes for Wi-Fi, only flights between Midway and Atlanta had Wi-Fi capability.
United Airlines is planning a satellite-based Wi-Fi, which means they’ll offer connectivity over the ocean. Most Wi-Fi during flights is currently available via ground-based service only; and only 6.5 percent of international flights have Wi-Fi, according to Routehappy.
An important feature for staying connected during a flight is in-seat power for devices such as tablets and laptops. According to the study, the best airlines for Wi-Fi with in-seat power are Delta and American Airlines.
Gogo Inc. headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, is the largest provider of inflight Wi-Fi; their Wi-Fi system has been installed on roughly 81 percent of Internet-enabled North American commercial aircrafts. The company said that within the first three months of 2013, 6.2 percent of passengers on Gogo-enabled aircraft used the service. All you need is a Wi-Fi enabled device, and a Gogo account. Gogo Internet operates on wireless signals that are provided by Gogo’s Air-To-Ground network, which is a network of cellular towers from sea to sea, so you know it’s going to be reliable. Gogo Internet is becoming available on more aircraft and routes nearly every day.
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