Finally! Is this the beginning of a price war for in flight Wi-Fi?

Is in flight Wi-Fi about to take off?
Is in flight Wi-Fi about to take off?
Image: Reuters/Gary Cameron
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JetBlue and Southwest Airlines have long been considered among the most innovative US airlines, and they also consistently score well in customer satisfaction surveys. So it’s no surprise that the two companies are leading the charge on reducing the often ridiculous prices charged to access (what is typically very slow) internet while in the skies.

Last month, JetBlue quietly launched a new in-flight Wi-Fi product, offering customers basic internet access (good enough to check your email, social networks or surf the web) for free. It costs $9 an hour for internet powerful enough to stream video, transfer large files or play games, still pretty pricey, but arguably a better deal than Gogo, which up until recently, was one of the few ways to access the internet on a flight.

Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines is offering in-flight Wi-Fi access for $8 per day, per device (the satellite-based broadband is capable of delivering Netflix, HBO Go and VoIP, as well as more basic email and social media access). Macrumors also reports that the carrier is offering iMessage access for $2 a day.

A recent survey found that 13% of Americans would be willing to give up bathroom access in exchange for in-flight Wi-Fi. Clearly, making the internet more accessible on America’s airlines would be a welcome change.