WiFi at 30,000 Feet

Board the plane, turn off your phone ... and surf the Web
By Alexandra Marks, Christian Science Monitor

NEW YORK - Coming soon to an airplane near you: broadband.

That's right, wireless Internet service that will allow passengers to send messages, surf the Web, and, yes, check in with the boss at 30,000 feet. American Airlines is first out of the starting gate domestically. It expects to have a test plane operating by December, and its whole transcontinental fleet of 767s ready in 2008. Virgin America is close on its heels with plans to equip every seat back with high-speed capability by mid-2008. And Alaska Airlines will run a test next spring and, based on its outcome, the company hopes to outfit its whole fleet.

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