CHICAGO, June 17, 2003 - United Airlines and Verizon Airfone(r) today announced that it is the first U.S. commercial carrier to offer Verizon Airfone(r) JetConnectSM service, with two-way email capability, on its U.S. domestic flights.Ê Ê
JetConnect is an inflight email, instant messaging and text messaging service and is the only provider of email capabilities to passengers on U.S. commercial flights. JetConnect with Email service costs $15.98 per flight, plus $0.10 per Kb of data over 2Kb.
United has offered JetConnect service on select 767 domestic aircraft since December 2002, but is expanding to the JetConnect with Email service across its entire domestic fleet. By the end of the year, passengers on United aircraft will be able to send and receive email inflight. Airfone uses Tenzing Communications as its JetConnect email service provider.
“Travelers are extremely loyal to United, due in part to our very high standards for customer service,” said John Tague, United Airlines executive vice president - customer. “The expansion of our JetConnect offering marks our continued emphasis on enhancing the customer experience through products and services that are useful, affordable, and in line with what travelers are asking for.”
Customers access JetConnect by plugging their laptops into jacks on the Verizon Airfone handsets. No software downloads or changes to connection procedures are required. Customers just use their standard dial-up routine to link to JetConnect.
“The availability of email is critical to business flyers,” said Bill Pallone, president of Verizon Airfone, “and we`re very pleased to partner with United on this historic achievement. The impact on inflight productivity is tremendous; for this reason, users have said access to JetConnect will determine which airline they`ll choose. This will significantly enhance the passengers` experience.”
Verizon Airfone and Tenzing conducted service trials in May of this year on United aircraft and will continue installation ramp up throughout the summer. Initially, JetConnect with Email will be available to North American frequent business travelers who use POP3, Microsoft Exchange via Outlook web access, and Lotus Notes via POP. Additional ISPs will be supported in the coming months.
$5.99 per flight
Instant Messaging, one-way text messaging, updated weather, national, international and business news, sports, and stock listings, games, over 100 city guides and airline information
JetConnect with Email:
$15.98 per flight; plus $0.10 per Kb of data over 2 Kb
Standard JetConnect service, plus inbound and outbound email, including attachments
About United Airlines:
In 2002, United`s employees broke 35 company records and achieved the best overall operational performance in the company`s 77-year history. United Airlines finished 2002 ranked No. 1 in the industry in domestic on-time performance, according to the official U.S. Department of Transportation`s Air Travel Consumer report. United operates more than 1,700 flights a day on a route network that spans the globe. News releases and other information about United can be found at the company`s website atÊ www.united.com.
About Tenzing: Communications
Tenzing Communications keeps business travelers in touch when they are in the air.Ê Working with airlines and leading regional Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Tenzing provides email and short message service (SMS) via laptop computers and seatback video screens.Ê Based in Seattle, Washington, the company was founded in 1999 and is privately held.Ê Major investors include Airbus and Rockwell Collins.Ê For more information on Tenzing, visitÊ www.tenzing.com.
About Verizon Airfone:
Verizon Airfone, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications, began offering commercial service in 1984 with the introduction of the first cordless air-to-ground telephone system. Airfone installed the first seatback telephone in 1987, and the company deployed a nationwide, end-to-end digital system starting in 1993. Verizon Airfone introduced JetConnectSM - the inflight email, instant messaging and text messaging service in 2002
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world`s leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 135.8 million access line equivalents and 32.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and 229,500 employees, Verizon`s global presence extends to more than 30 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visitÊ www.verizon.com.