plane-takeoff-wifi-intro2014 is certainly shaping up to be the year of in-flight communication.

JetBlue recently debuted its new Wi-Fi offering, called “Simply Surf,” which will provide basic internet service that’s free to passengers until June 2014.  There is also a premium service offering, called “Fly-Fi Plus,” which is reported to be eight times faster than the ground-based systems used by most airlines today.  It is a little pricey, however, at $9 per hour.  Simply Surf and Fly Fi will continue to be rolled out across the entire JetBlue fleet in 2014 and 2015.

Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines, which already offers Wi-Fi on 435 planes, announced that passengers can now iMessage during flights for $2.  The airline announced Wednesday it had launched gate-to-gate text messaging on all Wi-Fi-installed aircraft.  The new service enables passengers with Apple devices operating on iOS 5 or later the ability to iMessage gate-to-gate for $2 a day.  Android messaging apps will be added early in 2014.

Travelers on Southwest Airlines can now iMessage during their flights for $2.
The airline announced Wednesday it had launched gate-to-gate text messaging on all Wi-Fi-installed aircraft. The new service enables passengers with Apple devices operating on iOS 5 or later the ability to iMessage gate-to-gate for $2 a day

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • As the FCC considers rescinding a long-time ban on phone calls during commercial flights, JetBlue and Delta have already rejected the notion of allowing it on their flights.  Why?  Because it bothers most people who took a passenger survey.
  • New data  shows that 24% of U.S. travelers will buy a gift at the airport this holiday season as last-minute shoppers use the downtime before their flights to top off their Christmas lists.  Or if your the Grinch, it could mean that 76% of people have just been naughty – and aren’t worthy of an airport gift.

Happy holidays from everyone at Yapta – and safe travels!