The Boeing Co. will adjust the prices it charges for Internet access from the air via its Connexion by Boeing service later this month, it said Wednesday. The company will also make available four channels of live television to equipped aircraft during January and offer direct access to Yahoo's portal.
Connexion by Boeing allows passengers on aircraft hooked up to the satellite-delivered service to access the Internet at broadband speeds while in-flight and has been available since Lufthansa launched service in mid-2004. It's now offered on about 170 flights per day operated by 9 airlines.
The new pricing will make it cheaper to use the service in many cases.
For example, at present users pay US$30 to access the service for an entire flight of 6 hours or more under Connexion's "Internet Flight" option. This is revised to $27 under the new charges and is expanded to cover connecting flights within a 24-hour period from the start of paid service.
The "Internet Time" option, which allows access for a set period of time, remains unchanged at US$10 an hour of service and is reduced from US$17 to US$15 for 2 hours of service. A 3-hour option has been added at US$18.
However, in some instances the service will be more expensive to use. The "Internet Flight" option used to allow passengers on medium-haul flights of between 3 hours and 6 hours to get unlimited access for US$20, but under the new scheme they'll have to choose between 3 hours of Internet time for US$18 or a 24-hour block of time for US$27.
The new prices will come into effect on Jan. 31.
Additionally the company said that it will make available several channels of live television from Jan. 23. BBC World, EuroNews, Eurosportnews, CNBC and MSNBC will be available for viewing via a laptop computer. The live TV service has been available to Singapore Airlines passengers since the middle of 2005.
Connexion by Boeing will also tie-up with Yahoo from Jan. 15 and make its Web search and e-mail service directly available via the service portal.