Southwest Airlines, the regional carrier based here out of Dallas, has finally implemented in-flight wireless Internet service, but not the Aircell service that has made the rounds over the last year or so. This time around, the service is provided by Row 44, which is a satellite based service (whereas Aircell uses specially designed technology that functions on the principals of mobile phones).
Yahoo’s blog, Yodel Anecdotal, couldn’t help from trumpeting the news as well. Yahoo was chosen to be the default homepage provider for the inflight service.
Yahoo provided a bit more information in their release:
They’ve equipped one aircraft with Internet connectivity (via Row 44) and plan to add three more before the end of March. Yahoo! has teamed up with Southwest to build the free inflight homepage (here’s a larger screenshot), where passengers can find a host of things to either help them wile away the hours or bone up on their destination city.
Pretty cool stuff. There’s no word on the cost for the in-flight service I’ve seen anywhere. I enjoy the concept of being able to turn on Internet as soon as I get on the plane (and by most accounts, it works relatively flawlessly). It was an option on the last American Airlines flight I was on, but I couldn’t justify popping $15 for using the web for only 45 minutes of being in the air.