Business, Economics and Jobs

JetBlue to offer faster in-flight Wi-Fi than other airlines, leaked memo says


The JetBlue terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport in the Queens borough of New York City.


Mario Tama

JetBlue was slated to begin offering free in-flight Wi-Fi faster than anything else on offer.

The Verge cited a memo to crew members as saying Wi-Fi was a powerful asset that often influenced which airline travelers decided to book with.

"Customers, especially those traveling for business, with everything else being equal, will choose the airline that offers connectivity, even if the service is spotty or expensive."

Attempts by airlines to provide in-flight Wi-Fi have been widely criticized. described in-flight Wi-Fi thus:

"Imagine if using the Internet was like handing a stranger $20 dollars, and then that person starts flogging you with a length of barbed wire while very slowly reading aloud the first half of every web page you want to load. In-flight Wi-Fi is like that, but much, much worse."

At present, the in-flight broadband market is dominated by GoGo, according to DSL Reports

However, JetBlue would partner with ViaSat, the memo said.

Services would begin sometime in the first quarter of 2013 and it would be available on only 30 planes, The Verge added.

The official announcement was expected to be made at the World Low Cost Airlines Conference this week.

More from GlobalPost: JetBlue flight described as a 'vomitorium' after hydraulic failure