JetBlue (JBLU) is looking to keep its customers more entertained than ever before while traveling. According to a purported internal memo obtained by The Verge, the discount airline will soon partner with ViaSat (VSAT) to offer free high-speed Internet access across its entire fleet. Initial tests are said to be very fast with 10 Web pages loading in an average of 1 minute and 18 seconds, almost eight times faster than an unnamed competitor. The company will offer in-flight Wi-Fi for free until at least 30 planes have been equipped with the technology, and then the service will reportedly remain free for only “basic email and browsing” purposes. JetBlue will begin rolling out its high-speed wireless networking in the first quarter of 2013, the memo stated. More →
AT&T on Monday announced ShopAlerts, a new mobile advertising service that will introduce location-based ads to the AT&T wireless network. The service, developed by AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions and Placecast, will serve advertisements and special offers to subscribers’ cell phones when they are in the vicinity of a participating retailer. Initially, the service is only being offered in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. “We are proud to take mobile marketing into the future with this unique offering that is being embraced by consumers and brands alike,” said Greg McCastle, senior vice president of AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions, in a statement. “ShopAlerts by AT&T enables brands/advertisers to help link consumer engagement with activation and ultimately to the point of sale.” The ShopAlerts service will be opt-in, meaning AT&T subscribers must elect to receive ShopAlerts ads before any related advertisements or deals will be delivered to their devices. AT&T’s full press release can be found after the break. More →
In a press release today, JetBlue and ViaSat announced a partnership that will bring inflight broadband to JetBlue’s fleet of airplanes. As the press release reads:
ViaSat and JetBlue have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the provision of in-flight broadband access and other services for customers on JetBlue’s fleet of more than 160 aircraft using ViaSat advanced Ka-band satellites. Under the arrangement, ViaSat will provide Ka-band antenna components and SurfBeam®2 modems for installation on the airline’s EMBRAER E190 and Airbus A320 aircraft types along with two-way transmission bandwidth services using the WildBlue-1 and high-capacity ViaSat-1 satellites. JetBlue subsidiary, LiveTV LLC, will manage the integration of the ViaSat broadband and related components onboard the aircraft as well as providing the Wi-Fi enabled services into the overall cabin experience.
Live TV, combined with the Internet at 32,000 feet will definitely help improve the “overall cabin experience.” The deal isn’t set in stone however: “JetBlue and ViaSat have completed the non-binding MOU with the intent of signing a definitive agreement before the end of this calendar year.” Hopefully, the two companies can ink something more permanent soon and add Wi-Fi to the list of JetBlue inflight amenities. More →
Now is most definitely not a good time to run a US (or any) airline. People are traveling less, the economy is basically in the toilet and fuel is incredibly expensive which means that everything else is more expensive. On top of everything else we just entered a historically slow time of the year in terms of air travel as summer draws to a close and kids return to school. We’re not sure how far this tactic will go, but JetBlue is trying to ease the pain a bit by auctioning off a handful of flights on eBay. This doesn’t mark the first time an airline has turned to eBay but in the past, official eBay ticket auctions have been used to raise money for charity. JetBlue apparently isn’t quite concerned with humanitarianism at the moment as the airline has listed over 300 round-trip packages including single tickets, two-ticket packages and even a few mystery auctions that include hotel stays. All auctions were listed last night with varying durations and with opening prices of between 5¢ and 10¢. The auctions are expected to close between 85% and 90% of retail value, which means that travelers will indeed get a nice discount. To those interested, all flights depart on a Thursday or Friday and return on a Sunday or Monday. Travel resulting from the auctioned tickets must be completed by October 6th.