RealNews

Internet High-Wire Act With an 8-Pound Laptop

Despite the lingering malaise in travel demand, a few airlines, most of them foreign, and many hotels are spending money to start accommodating the growing demand by business travelers for a good Internet connection. Last month, Lufthansa began testing in-flight broadband Internet service provided by Connexion by Boeing, a subsidiary of the aircraft manufacturer, on one of its 747-400’s between Frankfurt and Washington, with tentative plans to extend the service on about 80 long-range jets next year. British Airways, noting that 75 percent of its business travelers carry laptops and say that they are ready to try in-flight Internet access, began testing the Connexion system last week on a 747-400 between New York and London. Japan Airlines and S.A.S. have plans to offer the service next year. Among other customers of the fledgling Connexion system are owners of corporate jets. Last year, Virgin Atlantic wired up four long-haul jets for e-mail-only service through Tenzing Communications, with plans to expand it to its entire fleet. Tenzing is partly owned by Boeing’s archrival, Airbus. Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Air Canada are also in various stages of testing Tenzing e-mail systems. Among hotels, Marriott International recently rolled out wireless high-speed Internet service at more than 400 hotels in the United States, Britain and Germany. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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