A few years ago WiFi hotspot aggregator Boingo added Boeing’s Connexion to its list of roaming partners. Boingo users were given access to Connexion’s high-speed connectivity services via their existing Boingo accounts. It was a sweet little arrangement (albeit short-lived due to Connexion's demise). It is also the type of partnership we are likely to see mimicked as new in-flight connectivity providers step up to the plate.
Boingo is looking towards the sky again. The company tells Runway Girl: “The advent of in-flight WiFi access is a natural extension for Boingo; people are still going to be in the airport an hour to two hours prior to take-off, and they will want to get online to be productive for work (or to be online for entertainment). As they board the plane, they will continue to use WiFi for productivity and/or entertainment.”
So can we expect to see a relationship with Aircell and other in-flight connectivity providers? “We see Aircell, et al as another major hotspot provider to work to expand the Boingo network. Boingo is there for its members in airports, in hotels, in cafés and restaurants … and the natural extension will be to be there on airplanes,” says Boingo.
Boingo’s role on the ground is already well established. This is one road warrior who remains very grateful for their airport access. And if you’re like me, you might be happy to know that Boingo is running a new promotion, whereby travellers get 15 minutes of free WiFi at major airports in the US and the UK on an iPhone or iPod Touch.
The 15 minutes comes after a 15 second advertisement; the service is offered at 28 airports with Boingo WiFi networks and includes major hubs such as Chicago O’Hare, Toronto Pearson International, London Heathrow, and JFK and LaGuardia in New York.
The full list in the United Kingdom is: EDI, GLA, LHR, LGW, SOU, STN; and in North America: AZO, BNA, BWI, DTW, EWR, HOU, IAH, JFK, LGA, MDW, MEM, MKE, MSP, OAK, OKC, ORD, SDF, SJU, SLC, STL, YOW, YYZ.
“Sometimes, you just want to do a quick e-mail check and surf before boarding – this gives travelers an opportunity to use their Wi-Fi devices to do that, for free for 15 minutes,” says Boingo.