July 2010 | Passengers on BA’s all-business ‘Club World London City’ service from London City to New York JFK can use their mobile device to send and receive text messages and emails in-flight and access the Internet. The in-flight connectivity service is provided by OnAir. Adding a new feature to the service, BA has become the launch customer for OnAir’s new in-flight mobile portal, which has been branded ‘Club Mobile’ by BA.
BA’s ‘Club Mobile’ is a wireless in-flight Internet portal that gives passengers access via their cellphones to real-time flight information, live sport results, and local information on events, weather and traffic. Passengers can also book concierge and chauffeur services (offered by Quintessentially) through the portal. To get access, passengers only have to switch on their phone, once the ‘no mobile’ sign is switched off, and receive a text message with a link to the portal. OnAir says the mobile portal is the first of its kind. For a demo of the service, see this video.
Cathay Pacific, meanwhile, has just announced plans to develop an in-flight entertainment portal which passengers can access via their mobile devices or via the seatback screen. Cathay will fit its entire fleet with broadband Internet and cellphone connectivity by early 2012 in partnership with Panasonic. Access to the in-flight portal will be free-of-charge, and the portal will contain a range of content updated during the flight as well as access to a select number of websites (airline, partner and e-commerce sites).