JetBlue to Offer Free Wi-Fi on Flights in 2013

by  Maryrose Mullen | Oct 25, 2012
Jetblue airplane tailfin
Jetblue airplane tailfin / rypson/iStock

You’ve finished your book. You’ve beaten your Angry Birds high score four times. You’ve properly acquainted yourself with the plane’s emergency protocol, and made a mental note to commission a portrait of your cat, Miss Precious Perfect, in elegant 17th century garb. You’ve exhausted your entertainment options, and you’re ready for your flight’s conclusion. Problem is, you’re nowhere near the tarmac. You’re still sandwiched between a wailing baby and a portly armrest-hogger, 30,000 feet in the air, hours away from your destination.

Nothing is worse than boredom setting in on a long flight. Fortunately, a new initiative by JetBlue will help alleviate mid-flight monotony. The airline recently announced they would offer onboard Wi-Fi, beginning in the first quarter of 2013. The airline is not exactly breaking new ground with the Wi-Fi offer: Their passengers have been twiddling their thumbs as competitors Virgin America, Delta, and American Airlines, among others, have provided the service for years. JetBlue has previously offered limited Wi-Fi, allowing flyers to check their email, instant message, and visit certain shopping sites.

What sets JetBlue apart is access to their service will be free of charge. Most airlines assess a fee up to $50, depending on the length of the flight, the package that you purchase, and whether you’re using a mobile or laptop device. JetBlue representatives say passengers will also have the option of “upgrade benefits,” but have not elaborated on what those entail.

JetBlue will partner with Live TV and ViaStat to provide customers with a free, high-speed service comparable to the connection you have at home. As of yet, JetBlue has not provided details of how long this initiative will take to complete, or its total cost.

JetBlue recognizes today’s travelers often tote along laptops or tablets, usually for business purposes. The airline stated holding off the program’s introduction until next year would allow the airline to outfit planes with the most efficient, speedy WiFi possible.

So whether you want to file those TPS reports or check out the highlights from your favorite team’s big win, you won’t have to wait to touchdown.

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