Free wi-fi onboard your next flight?
Travelers who are accustomed to getting a free wireless internet connection on the ground aren’t willing to pay for one 30,000 feet in the air.
Wireless internet service on airlines isn’t yet popular, mostly because of the expense. Travelers already paying new $25 fees to check bags and $20 fees for roomier seats don’t want to hand over another $5 or more for Wi-Fi unless it’s necessary.
Instead they’re waiting to land where they can use the internet for free. While airlines have offered promotions and some free services to attract attention to their Wi-Fi, experts say only about 10 percent of passengers on Web-enabled flights have taken the opportunity.
Experts predict that Wi-Fi will be free as early as mid-2011. However, if airlines go that route, there will be a catch. They will still have to compensate the service provider, such as Aircell, whose Gogo Inflight Internet serves almost every airline.