AirTran first US airline to add Wi-Fi to all flights

AirTran (AAI) is about to prove the sky is no limit when it comes to wireless connections.

The company said today it will allow its customers to surf the Web while in the sky on all of its flights later this year. The cost will range from $7.95 to $12.95, depending on the size of your device and the length of your flight, AirTran spokeswoman Cynthia Tinsley-Douglas told DailyFinance.

"Wi-Fi on every flight gives us a distinct competitive advantage over other airlines," AirTran CEO Bob Fornaro said.

The world's largest airline, Delta Air Lines (DAL), has said it installed Wi-Fi on about half of the planes that fly within the continental U.S. and American Airlines (AMR), the second-largest airline, has said it will expand its Internet service to about half of its planes.

In a company press release today, AirTran's Fornaro said its customers can work on AirTran's planes as they would at their office or shop online or check their e-mail.

Passengers still won't be able to make calls while in the air, Tinsley-Douglas said in a phone interview, and any "objectionable" Web sites will be blocked.

AirTran plans to have all 136 of its jets Internet-ready by mid- to late-July of this year, she said. The service, called Gogo Inflight, is provided by AirCell.

Currently, AirTran does not have plugs in its planes for charging phones or computers, she said. Adding plugs to their planes its something AirTran is considering.

Surfing the Web on AirTran planes will cost $7.95 on an iPhones or blackberries. Laptop surfing will cost $9.95 for flights under three hours, she said, and $12.95 for flights longer than three hours.

Anthony Massucci is a senior writer and columnist for DailyFinance.
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