Alaska Airlines stepping up inflight internet presence in June

Alaska passengers can stay connected 24-7 with Gogo

Business travelers booking flights on Alaska Airlines will have no trouble keeping in touch with the office over the coming months, as the company has announced that it has extended Gogo Inflight internet service to nearly every aircraft in its fleet, with the carrier-wide installation process expected to be completed by the end of the month.

A full 92 percent of all aircraft under the Alaska Airlines banner, which includes all 737-800 and 737-900, will be able to offer web browsing to passengers. The company will wait to extend the service to seven of its 117 Boeing 737s, including its freighter and combi aircraft.

The service allows all Wi-Fi-enabled devices, including smartphones, laptops and tablets, to browse the web, access online databases, send and receive emails and more. It is relatively limited access, however, meaning that more bandwidth-heavy activities like video conferencing are not supported by the service.

Joe Sprague, the airline's vice president of marketing, claims that the new addition will help Alaska's business clientele whose demanding positions require that they keep in contact at all times.

"We're pleased to be able to offer inflight Wi-Fi service to our customers flying throughout our U.S. mainland and Alaska route network," Sprague told the press. "For our business travelers, especially, the ability to access e-mail and the internet is a great benefit."

While the service is mainly geared towards business professionals, the airline has launched a new promotion that could entice more leisure travelers to opt for inflight internet. During the month of June, all Wi-Fi-capable Alaska Airlines flights will offer free access to popular social networking site Facebook. Users will be able to browse profiles, pictures and newsfeeds and even chat with friends through the site's instant messaging function.

The company has even launched a new Facebook app that will allow its fans to play an instant-win game for a chance to win a grand prize dream vacation for two to Hawaii. The game, which chooses a winner every Wednesday, is called Alaska Airlines Nuts for Hawaii and will be available for free download until July 20.

Gogo Inflight Service rates begin at $4.95 and increase based on the length of the flight and device used, though business travelers who are constantly on the road can also opt for monthly subscriptions or daily passes.

By Jason Faulkner

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