February 7, 2011
Great news for business travelers! Aircell, the leading provider of inflight wi-fi, just secured $35 million in funding to expand service on commercial and private flights.
Aircell’s broadband network is currently installed on all AirTran Airways, Virgin America and mainline Delta Air Lines flights and on some flights operated by Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways. This new round of funding will allow them to increase their base of broadband-equipped aircraft by around 3 per day; Frontier Airlines is expected to start offering internet access soon.
Naturally, you just can’t tap into their network on your laptop, smart phone, or PDA. Airline passengers must buy a pass, either pre-flight or inflight, to connect to Aircell’s internet portal, Gogo. Costs start at $4.95 to connect on one flight, though frequent flyers can take advantage of an unlimited monthly pass for $34.95.
Gogo also offers a really unique advertising opportunity for those who want to reach air travelers. While this is not so great if you avoid ads like the plague, for companies that want to reward their customers or attract new ones, it’s an ideal way to increase sales. So go ahead and follow the lead of Google, Hewlett Packard, Ford, Facebook, People.com and Skymall, all of whom have partnered with Aircell on special promotions – like free inflight internet. Your company could potentially reach business travelers on 3800 flights per day. More companies should take advantage of this to keep inflight wifi free.
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