Passengers on selected Lufthansa North Atlantic routes can now access wifi internet, and until January 31 the carrier is offering the service for free.
Lufthansa had previously offered its FlyNet internet service through the now defunct Connexion by Boeing between 2003 and 2006, but announced it would be reintroducing the service in October last year (see online news October 12, 2009).
The reintroduced offering is being provided by Panasonic and Deutsche Telekom, initially on selected North Atlantic routes, although Lufthansa says it will be available on “ nearly the entire Lufthansa intercontinental network by the end of 2011”.
The carrier says that the high bandwidth of the service means passengers with WLAN-enabled laptops and smartphones will be able to surf the internet, send and receive email with large attatchments, and access their company's Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
In addition Lufthansa says that in-flight data communication via mobile phone GSM and GPRS should be available from next spring.
From February 2011 wifi internet access will be charged at Euros 10.95 per hour, or Euros 19.95 for 24 hours, with the latter meaning passengers will be able to carry through access on connecting flights under the validity period.
It will also be possible to redeem Miles and More points for internet access, at a rate of 3,500 miles for one hour or 7,500 miles for 24 hours.
Several carriers have recently introduced or are planning onboard internet access – for a full report on the future of in-flight connectivity, see Stay Connected in the November 2010 issue of Business Traveller.
Report by Mark Caswell