British Airways trials high-speed surfin'
"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.