It goes without saying that the modern traveller needs reliable in-flight Wi-Fi access, and airlines have been putting in a lot of time and resources to provide the facility. Speeds were nowhere near what people would experience on the ground when in-flight Wi-Fi was initially introduced, but the technology has evolved since then. The ViaSat-1 satellite already powers JetBlue’s Fly-Fi service with the promise of 12 Mbps speeds per seat, and apparently United too has switched on this Ka-band backed service on its own select Boeing 737 aircraft.
This report comes from travel blogger Wandering Aramean who received a confirmation from United on Twitter that the service has indeed been switched on select 737s. Previously these plans were flying around with the relevant components installed, but it appears that United has only recently flipped the switch on its ViaSat powered in-flight Wi-Fi service.
That said, United hasn’t made much fuss about the launch. Its possible that its a soft launch at this stage and that the airline is working out any kinks before it starts blowing the trumpet. Travellers who have used United’s existing service on its transcontinental 757s as well as A319, A320 and 747 aircraft will notice a major difference in performance. Pricing for the new service hasn’t been revealed as yet, though its expected to cost between $10 and $15 per hour, depending upon the length of the flight.