To steal from the old Bacharach/David tune it will soon be a case of ‘Planes and Boats and Trains’ for owners of laptops equipped with Wi-Fi facilities. They can already surf the Internet wirelessly on some GNER trains between London and Scotland (read Rupert Goodwin’s top diary story here) and the slightly well off customers cruising on the Queen Mary II can access the net via hot spots dotted throughout the ship.
Now a pair of airlines is competing to become first to offer laptop owners wireless Internet facilities on their PCs while aboard long haul flights.
In March Lufthansa is set to become first airline to offer a wireless version of the Boeing Connexion system delivering full Internet access and e-mail from £20 a trip. Connexion, which will be available on both Transatlantic and Asian flights. There’s good news for us Brits too as British Airways also recently trialled the Connexion system and is expected to offer it on its long haul flights later in the year. Obviously we are angling for us seat on that press launch.
However if Lufthansa misses its launch slot Emirates might beat them to it. The airline has announced that beginning in March passengers on its flights from Dubai to Sydney, could send and receive e-mail over an onboard Wi-Fi network for around £15. They can’t access the web though.
Boeing news here and Emirates stuff here