Some might say it is a step forward, some a step backwards, but coming soon to a Jet Blue airplane near you–access to Yahoo! Mail (e-mail) or Yahoo! Messenger (instant messaging client) for free in the sky via WiFi access points.
You won’t be able to access the web willy nilly, but a separate agreement with RIM will allow feeding your Blackberry addiction too. Now what good is their in-flight television system? People won’t be able to get away from the office. Check out the full article over at Engadget. Is this a step forward or a step backwards?
What do you think?
The innovation in this example comes not from the fact that Jet Blue is offering in-flight e-mail and instant-messaging, but in the airline and Yahoo! recognizing that even though the bandwidth they have available is not sufficient to support unrestricted web browsing, there is still something interesting that the partners can do. Hats off to Yahoo! for having the wisdom to identify a value add for their existing mail and IM users while also potentially growing their install base. Hats off to RIM for becoming the only handheld device delivering messages in-flight on Jet Blue, adding value for their platform subscribers.
There are a lot more interesting things that airlines could do in-flight, even with about the same amount of bandwidth. I would love to sit with the airlines and show them my vision for the greatest potential in-flight value add. Maybe Jet Blue is ready to listen.