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Wi-Fi Coming to JetBlue and It's Free... For Now


Starting in 2013, JetBlue will offer free Wi-Fi until the service is completely installed on its fleet.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL If you're an Internet addict who cannot stand flying without checking your social media accounts or the latest sports results, JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) has some good news for you.

Starting from the first quarter of 2013, the low-cost airline will introduce free basic Wi-Fi to all of its passengers.

JetBlue says that its new Wi-Fi service will be free, at least until its installation is completed on all 30 planes in the company's fleet. A spokesperson for JetBlue told CBS News that the airline has yet to decide whether or not it plans to eventually charge for the service.

This isn't the first time that an airline has offered free Wi-Fi service. During the holiday season of 2010, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) partnered with AirTran (NYSE:LUV), Delta (NYSE:DAL), and Virgin America to offer free Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi on flights between November 20, 2010 and January 2, 2011.

As pointed out by Slate, paid in-flight Wi-Fi services are not exactly popular (used by only 4% of passengers) because the Internet connection usually turns out to be slow and unreliable. Imagine how that problem would be exacerbated by more people on the plane accessing it at the same time since it's free. (Think the "truly abysmal" service on the Amtrak, as The Economist puts it.)
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