Getting online when crossing the Pacific on Delta flights will be a boon to business travellers when the Virgin Australia partner airline starts installing satellite wifi across its fleet.
The airline says it will offer wifi on all its international aircraft, including the Boeing 777-200LR that it flies between Sydney and Los Angeles, starting "in early 2013".
Delta already provides ground-to-air wifi within the USA, but the new Ku band (pronounced 'kay-you') air-to-satellite system will work even over water.
Existing air-to-satellite wifi is fairly slow, while the amount of data you can use is limited and usually fairly expensive for what you get.
But it won't stay that way: as more airlines get in on inflight wifi, there's more of an incentive for game-changing new technology and the evolution of existing tech.
On flights to the US, for example, Delta's not alone. Trans-Pacific competitor United is also installing wifi on its Pacific fleet, Alison Espley, General Manager of Australia and New Zealand for United Airlines, told Australian Business Traveller, and "certainly hoped" the system would be available on United's Australian 747 flights by the end of the year, "but we don't have a schedule as yet."
Other airlines flying from and around Australia are also getting in on inflight Internet. Check out the current situation and future prospects for inflight Internet on:
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.