This summer, Japan Airlines (JAL) will start offering high-speed, wireless internet connection service, the JAL SKY Wi-Fi. The airline is currently in progress in equipping their aircraft across its international fleet using the broadband Ku connectivity solution eXConnect by Panasonic Avionics Corporation. It will be gradually introduced onboard JAL’s international flights. If possible, I think it’s a great time to utilize a VPN service while connecting to their wifi network to encrypt and secure your internet connection.
Airline’s customers in every cabin class will be able to surf and browse the web and access their accounts using their personal electronic devices such as tablets, laptops, and other Wi-Fi enabled gadgets with the use of JAL SKY Wi-Fi. This serves as an alternative option for in-flight entertainment as well as getting some work done if they have.
Installation will start on a 777-300ER and JAL SKY Wi-Fi will become accessible on flights between Tokyo (Narita) and New York (John F. Kennedy) on every other days from July 15, 2012, and everyday from early August. Soon after this, by the end of October JAL expects to bring its latest service on flights to and from Jakarta, Los Angeles, and Chicago. And by next spring, JAL expects to deliver its service to Frankfurt, London, and Paris.
A charge for the usage of JAL SKY Wi-Fi is USD11.95 or the first hour and USD21.95 for 24 hours upon activation. Customers who purchase 24 hour usage can continue to enjoy the service on a connecting JAL international flight that has the JAL SKY Wi-Fi system as long as it is within the time limit. Charges are payable through credit card only and if the customers are using JAL CARD, JAL USA CARD, or the JAL Shanghai Pudong Development Bank credit card, they are entitled to the special rates of USD10.75 for the first hour and USD19.75 for 24 hours of usage.
Speaking about wifi and VPNs in Asia… it’s annoying to see videos on Youtube and other video sharing sites (and even just websites!) that block different countries. I finally purchased my first VPN account back in 2008 and I think a VPN is essential when moving to Japan. Ever since I started using TunnelBear I’ve been able to get around the blocked content problem. I even stream videos from my paid Netflix account. It’s little things like this that makes me miss my home country a little less. Awe yeah!