The satellite-based service delivers 20 times more bandwidth than Gogo’s air-to-ground (ATG) product and offers the freedom of having Wi-Fi virtually everywhere Alaska’s Boeing and Airbus mainline jets fly, including allowing guests to stay connected when traveling outside the continental U.S. to popular destinations like Hawaii, Mexico, and Costa Rica, where connectivity was previously unavailable.
“We conducted an extensive review to find a satellite Wi-Fi solution that will allow us to give our guests full coverage across our route map, including in the state of Alaska and on flights to Hawaii,” said Andrew Harrison, chief commercial officer for Alaska Airlines. “Our guests will soon be able to connect in the air just as they do out and about on the ground. This makes traveling more relaxing as well as productive – whether you’re scrolling through Facebook, checking email, or watching what’s trending on YouTube.”
Once an Alaska aircraft is equipped with satellite, guests will no longer have to wait until the plane reaches 10,000 feet to get online. Gogo’s 2Ku service provides internet access from gate-to-gate, with speeds similar to those of wireless carriers on the ground. Alaska will be revealing pricing for its planned satellite Wi-Fi service in the near future and guests can expect that prices will be lower than they are today for ATG service, with options available such as hourly and daily rates.
“We are excited to partner with Alaska to bring their guests a new onboard connectivity experience with 2Ku,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “2Ku is the leading inflight internet solution on the market today in terms of bandwidth delivered to each passenger device, coverage and reliability. We have market-leading satellite capacity with the ability to add more. We continue to innovate and improve the technology to make sure 2Ku will keep Alaska ahead of the technology curve for the foreseeable future.”
Free Chat and movies on Virgin America flights
Additionally, the airline today announced that guests on flights operated by Virgin America now have access to Free Chat and free movies – two benefits already available to guests flying on Alaska.
With Free Chat, guests flying with Virgin America can now use iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger on their smartphones to send greetings from 35,000 feet – for free. Since the introduction of Free Chat to Alaska earlier this year, more than 1 million guests have used it to stay connected while in the air.
All entertainment on Virgin America’s RED in-flight entertainment system is now free, including new releases, classics and independent films, as well as all TV. Free entertainment became a permanent feature on Alaska in March.
“Free Chat and free movies are extremely popular on Alaska Airlines flights and we’re happy to extend these features to our guests flying with Virgin America,” Harrison said. “We continue to evaluate and evolve the onboard experience to deliver an exceptional and consistent guest experience at a great value.”
The Gogo 2Ku service will be installed on Alaska’s Boeing 737 aircraft beginning in the first half of 2018, with 40 to 50 planes expected to be completed by the end of the year. The remainder of Alaska and Virgin America’s mainline fleet will be fully satellite Wi-Fi equipped by early 2020. Regional jets operated by Horizon Air and SkyWest, which serve shorter flights, will continue to offer Gogo’s ATG4 internet service (including Free Chat) along with free movies and TV.
About Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines, together with Virgin America and its regional partners, flies 40 million guests a year to 118 destinations with an average of 1,200 daily flights across the United States and to Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and Cuba. With Alaska and Alaska Global Partners, guests can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 900 destinations worldwide. Alaska Airlines ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America” in the J.D. Power North America Satisfaction Study for 10 consecutive years from 2008 to 2017. Learn more about Alaska’s award-winning service and unmatched reliability at newsroom.alaskaair.com and blog.alaskaair.com. Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK).
Gogo is the Inflight Internet Company. We are the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation. We design and source innovative network solutions that connect aircraft to the internet and we develop customizable services for our aviation partners. Once connected, we provide industry leading reliability around the world. Our mission is to help aviation go farther by making planes fly smarter, so our aviation partners perform better and their passengers travel happier.
You can find Gogo’s products and services on thousands of aircraft operated by the leading global commercial airlines and thousands of private aircraft, including those of the largest fractional ownership operators. Gogo is headquartered in Chicago, IL with additional facilities in Broomfield, CO and locations across the globe. Connect with us at gogoair.com.