July 14, 2009

AirTran equips planes with Internet access

U.S. carrier AirTran Airways says it has become the first major airline to offer high-speed wireless Internet service on all of its flights.

The smaller Virgin America equipped its planes with WiFi in May, while Delta, American and United airlines were moving quickly toward equipping all of their domestic flights with Internet access for customers, USA Today reported.

AirTran is including an etiquette guide to using the airborne Internet service in every seat pocket, which reportedly includes a warning about using airplane lavatories as conference rooms.

Over time, we think (WiFi) will serve us very, very well, Bob Fornaro, chairman and president of AirTran, told USA Today, adding that with etiquette guides, which are part of a broader advertising campaign, we're trying to remind you in a fun way that you're not at home when surfing the Web at 35,000 feet."

Jackie Yeaney, chief marketing officer of conference call firm Premiere Global Services, said sound, paperwork, (and) confidentiality will be concerns as business travelers take part in Webcast meetings in their airliner seats.