American Air kicks off in-flight Internet service

CHICAGO Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:36am EDT

American Airlines MD-80 aircrafts sit on the tarmac at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport April 9, 2008. REUTERS/John Gress

American Airlines MD-80 aircrafts sit on the tarmac at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport April 9, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/John Gress

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - AMR Corp's American Airlines began offering Internet access on long-haul domestic flights on Wednesday, making American the first U.S. airline to offer full in-flight broadband.

The world's largest airline said its passengers on Boeing 767-200 aircraft can pay $12.95 for Internet access on nonstop flights between New York and San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, and New York and Miami.

Airlines have been racing to get reliable Internet access on their flights in hopes of gaining a competitive edge in the troubled airline industry. Other carriers like Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways have made strides in that direction.

Delta Air Lines Inc said this month it soon will start rolling out broadband Wi-Fi access for its entire domestic mainline fleet of more than 330 planes.

Experts have said they expect in-flight Internet to become common in the industry.

American's mobile broadband service, which is called Gogo, is provided by AirCell. Each Gogo session includes full Internet access. Cell phone and Voice over Internet Protocol are not available.

(Reporting by Kyle Peterson, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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