American Airlines will fly its first commercial round-trip with Aircell's Gogo service active tomorrow: On Wednesday, 25-June-2008, in-flight broadband briefly flickers back to life with a JFK to Los Angeles round-trip flown by American on which passengers will get free use of the onboard, in-flight Internet service via Wi-Fi. The test flight is a kind of soft launch, which will be followed in a few weeks by full-on service.
American will offer Gogo on its 15 Boeing 767-200s, which means all JFK-LAX routes and some JFK-SFO and JFK-MIA (Miami) routes. The test will likely stress the system because more people will get on than on a typical flight since they won't be paying, and I would guess a lot of people will immediately try streaming video just to see if it works.
The full-on launch is still a pilot project even though it involves so many planes, routes, and passengers.
BoingBoing's Xeni Jardin asked me to participate in an interview call today with execs from Aircell and American Airlines, and I've written up the full account for their site.
Among other interesting tidbits I learned today, the onboard systems have 800 GB of capacity for future expansion--streaming media, most likely--and the AA-configured 767-200 has power outlets scattered around coach, and at every seat in first and business class.