US airliner eyeing Wi-Fi service for passengers

Alaska Airlines will be the first US carrier to test a satellite-based in-flight wireless Internet service next year and may equip its entire fleet, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report quoted the Seattle-based Alaska as saying that it plans to install Row 44's broadband service on one Boeing 737 jet next spring.

Row 44's system is designed to work over water and across international borders. Alaska Airlines said the service is intended to work on all its routes, which include flights within the lower 48 states and to Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico, the report said.

If it works, Alaska may add the service to all 114 of its aircraft, the report said.

A dome-shaped device mounted on top of the plane will house the antenna that receives and transmits satellite signals, the report said.

Alaska Airlines, the nation's ninth-largest carrier, is researching various pricing options, a spokeswoman said.

About a year ago, Boeing pulled the plug on a planned in-flight Internet service after it failed to sign on enough airlines, the report further said.