Aircell, SkyMall launch free in-flight wi-fi shopping

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E-commerce portal SkyMall has partnered with Aircell, the owner of Gogo Inflight Internet, to offer airline passengers free in-flight wi-fi shopping as of December 10.  Passengers on nearly 850 airplanes equipped with Gogo wireless service will get free access to SkyMall.com in the air.

Airlines including AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, US Airways and United Airlines offer Gogo Internet service. The cost ranges from $4.95 to $12.95 per session.

The goal of SkyMall, the in-flight catalog that sells everything from specialty dog bowls to $10,000 diamond-encrusted iPods, is to offer a more convenient shopping experience for passengers.

“If you're sitting on your couch at home looking at a Harry & David catalog and you see something you like, you order it right there,” said Dave Bijur, VP of partnerships at Aircell. “Now SkyMall will be able to offer the same thing.”

Customers who spend $125 or more on merchandise with SkyMall through their Gogo connection will receive free Internet access on a future flight.

Aircell and SkyMall chose to launch the promotion around the holidays to capitalize both on the high flight traffic and passengers' needs for last-minute shopping.

“Whether leisure or business traveler, there are some cool promotions in there,” said Bijur. “For the crazy business traveler who's losing it because it's close to Christmas and they are stressing about buying gifts, this might be a solution.”

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