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Airborne email

United Airlines is first US airline to offer in-flight electronic mail service

The office looks set to follow travellers everywhere, as United Airlines becomes the first US to carrier to offer in-flight email services.

It follows in the footsteps of German airline Lufthansa which has been trialling onboard broadband for several months and is currently in the process of installing high-speed internet access across all its long haul flights. So soon there will be no escape from work even when you're are at 35,000ft.

So far United only plans to offer email on its domestic US flights, and says it will roll out the service by the end of the year. This makes it the first US airline to offer such a package, and marks a strong move by the airline to woo business fliers and drum up added revenue in the face of strong competition from low-cost competitors.

The new email capabilities build on the JetConnect service, which currently offers United passengers news and weather as well as instant messaging and text messaging for $5.99 (£3.55) a flight. The enhanced email service isn't so cheap at $15.98 (£9.50) a flight plus $0.10 (5p) per kilobyte of data over 2KB.

United currently has no plans to expand the service outside the US, although it will monitor demand domestically.


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