Lufthansa Starts Connexion Trials

 - January 14, 2008, 10:37 AM

Boeing’s new Connexion satellite Internet service last month began operating in revenue passenger service aboard a Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 flying daily between Frankfurt, Germany, and Washington Dulles International Airport. The good news for passengers is that Lufthansa is offering the service free of charge for the duration of this initial three-month trial. After the trial period ends, users will have to start paying connection fees of about $35, which will allow unlimited use during the en route portion of the flight–what airlines call a flight segment. The service, which Lufthansa has branded FlyNet, allows passengers to use their own laptop computers to tap directly into the Internet, where they can surf the Web, send and receive e-mail attachments and shop online. Connection speeds have been consistently demonstrated in the area of 128 kbps, or about four times as fast as a dial-up modem. Lufthansa, the inaugural airline customer for Connexion, intends to equip some 80 Boeing 747-400s and Airbus A330/340s with the service beginning in the middle of next year.