JetBlue Airways is the first U.S. carrier to provide free instant messaging and e-mail services to their passengers, starting December 11.
The budget airline will run a six-month test under one Airbus A320 plane dubbed as BetaBlue. Here, all passengers with wireless-enabled laptops are allowed to use Yahoo! Mail and IM. Moreover, selected BlackBerry handsets (8820 and 8320) are permitted to access and send emails during flights.
The first trial flight of the 150-seater BetaBlue is on flight 641 from New York to San Francisco this coming Tuesday. However, all electronic devices including the allowed BlackBerry smartphones must be turned off during takeoff and landing.
If the test is successful, JetBlue CEO David Neeleman promises to roll out this free service to their whole fleet.
Other carriers like Alaska, American Airlines, and Virgin America will start testing their own Internet service next year.
Via The Mercury News
Originally posted on December 7, 2007 @ 8:55 am