Continental has announced that it is finally getting into the wifi game by installing wifi on its 757-300 fleet. That makes them the last major to announce wifi plans, and I think this move is interesting for a few reasons.
We all know that Delta and American are well into their wifi rollouts. United is doing a limited test on its p.s. fleet which flies between JFK and LA and San Francisco. And even US Airways has announced wifi plans for its A321 fleet. So what took Continental so long?
Remember, Continental opted for the LiveTV product on much of its fleet, including the 757-300. I was wondering if they were holding out for a LiveTV broadband option, but clearly that’s not the case. I assume this means they’re unsatisfied with LiveTV’s narrowband product (which offers email and a couple websites but that’s it) now that they have broadband coming into place. LiveTV must be watching closely.
It’s also interesting to me that they’ve chosen the 757-300 for wifi. It’s the 737s that tend to do most of the long haul domestic flying, so I would have thought that would have been a better fleet for this. Maybe the fact that this is a smaller fleet makes this a better test fleet in their eyes.
This to me also signals that the 737 will remain the airplane of choice for Hawai’i. There is no GoGo internet service over the water, so if they were planning on having these planes fly to Hawai’i, they probably wouldn’t bother installing this.
I always thought of the 757-300 as a Florida airplane. It can hold so many people that it actually can squeak out a living by carrying snowbirds down to the swamp for the winter, even on those cheap fares. But those aren’t the demographic that Continental would want to target with its wifi product. It’s the business travelers that benefit the most. So I find myself wondering what Continental is planning to do with this fleet.
Do they have something up their sleeve?