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British Airways trials high-speed surfin'

Wed, 06/12/2002 - 8:00pm
Susan Rush

"Let's go surfin' now, everybody's learning how." Words to live by not just in the ocean, but in the sky. British Airways plans to try riding the high-speed Internet access wave with the help of Boeing 's in-flight broadband service.

As part of a three-month trial, Boeing's service, dubbed Connexion, will be installed in British Airways' First, Club World and World Traveller Plus cabins on the airline's Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets. The airline is targeting business travelers, most of whom bring their laptops on a flight with them.

The Connexion service is designed to deliver high-speed Internet access to commercial and executive aircraft via satellite. The service gives passengers access to the Internet, e-mail, firewall-protected intranet access, e-commerce, television, news and entertainment content.

The British Airways trial is slated to get underway in February 2003. The price will be roughly $29 per flight.

In late November, Connexion suffered a potentially crippling blow on news that three airline heavyweights — Delta, America Airlines and United Airlines — decided to abandon the project. The airlines pulled out of the joint venture citing financial difficulties they have suffered since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

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