Gogo is the leading provider of in-flight Wi-Fi service when you're traveling by plane, but depending on how many people are saturating the connection, you may have found speed to be less than ideal. Get ready for an upgrade. Gogo today announced a new service called Gogo GTO, or Ground to Orbit, which is a proprietary technology that will ultimately result in an increase in speed by more than six times the current performance.
Gogo, the guru of in-flight wireless Internet service, announced on Monday that it has hammered out an agreement to acquire the Airfone business unit from LiveTV, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of JetBlue Airways Corporation. The main attraction for Gogo is the 1MHz spectrum license that will change hands as a result of the transaction, as it's currently held by LiveTV. So, what are Gogo's plans for the 1MHz spectrum?
There's a lot you're not supposed to do on an airplane these days, like run up and down the aisle yelling "Bomb!," join the mile high club, visit the cockpit, and other things that can get you arrested. None of that is going to change. But in the near future, you may be able to use your tablet or eReader during taxi, takeoff, and landing if the Federal Aviation Administration deems that a game of Angry Birds won't muck with a plane's flight system and send it crashing to the ground.
More and more fliers are joining the mile high Wi-Fi club, which isn't nearly as fun as that other club you can join from 5,280 feet or higher, but at least it won't get you in trouble with security personnel. Aircell's Gogo Inflight Internet service rules the skies, but rather than stand pat, Aircell has big plans for the future, including a next generation version of ATG (Air-to-Ground) known as ATG-4, and Ka-band satellite technology.
The next time you go to book a flight on American Airlines, you'll have to do it outside of Orbitz, the popular online travel company. That's because American decided to pull its flights from Orbitz over a dispute that could impact online flight sales as a whole, according to an AP report.
Online travel companies like Orbitz receive a commission for flight sales originating from their website. In addition, American also pays fees to the global distribution companies that provide the flight information, and that's where things went south.
American wants Orbitz to pull that information from the airline, which American said would cut costs and allow it to make more personalized offers to travelers. Derek DeCross, American's VP for sales, said the airline needs to be "free to customize its product offerings to improve the customer experience as well as distribute its products in a way that does not result in unnecessary costs."
This was a costly move for Orbitz, which sought (and didn't receive) a court injunction to block American's departure. American tickets and related products accounted for around 5 percent of the site's total net revenue for the first nine months of 2010.
American Airlines tickets already purchased through Orbitz are still valid, the airline indicated in its related FAQ.
Planning a trip to Somalia or Yemen? If so, leave your ink cartridges at home. According to U.K's BBC News, the U.S. has extended an air cargo ban of toner cartridges from passenger flights to cover both Somalia and Yemen.
"The threats of terrorism we face are serious and evolving, and these security measures reflect our commitment to using current intelligence to stay ahead of adversaries, working closely with our international, federal, state, local, and private sector partners every step of the way," Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano said.
The seemingly quirky ban follows the discovery of bombs hidden in cartridges intercepted while in transit from Yemen to the U.S. Ink cartridges over 16 ounces are affected.
Google has a history of getting into the holiday spirit. Last year the search giant cut a deal with 47 U.S. airports to offer free Wi-Fi service, and this year Google Chrome is sponsoring in-flight Wi-Fi on select aircraft.
"This holiday season, Google Chrome has teamed up with AirTran Airways, Delta, and Virgin America to offer free Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi on every domestic flight from November 20, 2010 through January 2, 2011. These participating airlines have outfitted their entire domestic fleet with Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi, and we expect more connected passengers this holiday season than ever before!," Google announced.
It's really a win-win-win situation, with Google promoting its Chrome browser, select airlines getting a leg up on the competition, and holiday travelers able to stay connected as they take to the skies.
A transatlantic flight traveling from Milan to New York was forced into emergency landing procedures courtesy of a passenger's overheating mobile phone.
The passenger had plugged his phone in to be charged but didn't notice that it had begun to overheat. It subsequently melted and sent smoke wafting through the cabin, which then triggered a fire alarm.
At first it was unclear what caused the smoke. The cabin crew couldn't find the source, and the passenger had no idea his cell phone was the culprit. After the plane was cleared of some 167 passengers at Shannon Airport, an inspection took place and the melted phone was found.
The passenger was allowed to remain on board when the flight resumed four hours later.
Forget about snakes, shoe bombs, and stale peanuts - it's lithium-ion batteries that you have to look out for when flying the friendly skies. According to a USA Today report, American Airlines recently confiscated 58 mobile phones, lithium-ion batteries, and charging units from a passenger trying to fly from New York to Buenos Aires.
As USA Today reports it, lithium-ion batteries are coming under increased scrutiny by airline officials. The reason? When these little battery packs short-circuit or overheat, they can burst into flames or explode.
"The frequency of incidents, combined with the difficulty in extinguishing lithium-battery fires, warrants taking strong action," Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, said of a Transportation Department proposal seeking to enact stricter rules for companies that ship lithium batteries in cargo holds.
Unlikely as it may sound, FAA data shows that lithium fires do occur on both cargo and passenger plans. From March 20, 1991, through August 3, 2010, the FAA reports some 113 incidents involving "smoke, fire, extreme heat, or explosion" on these typs of aircraft.
Samsung's Vibrant smartphone (part of the Galaxy S series) debuted on T-Mobile yesterday, finally giving T-Mobile subscribers an Android phone to legitimately be excited about. And if you're a frequent traveler, it gets even better -- Gogo is offering up to one month of free inflight Wi-Fi data access.
"As smartphones become more prevalent, we want to make it easier for those traveling to access their email and favorite websites as well as Twitter and Facebook," said Aircell President and CEO, Michael Small. "We want to provide the Vibrant customers with a seamless way to continue their mobile experience at 30,000 feet."
Gogo is available on nearly 1,000 commercial aircraft and over 3,500 daily flights in the Continental U.S., Gogo said. The free month of service is valid for one month from registration or until January 31, 2011, whichever comes first.