JetBlue offers free Wi-Fi on some flights

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Starting on one plane on Dec. 11, JetBlue Airways will begin offering free inflight e-mail and Yahoo instant messaging services via a broadband Wi-Fi network.

It will be the first U.S. airline to offer in-flight Wi-Fi.

But USA Today reports that the quality of the service is spotty. One of its reporters tested the service on-board the Airbus A320, which was parked Wednesday at a hangar at J.F.K. airport in N.Y.C.

One reporter had difficulty composing and sending e-mail from his Yahoo account, even though he was able to reply to incoming e-mails. E-mails he sent from a BlackBerry provided by JetBlue never reached his intended recipients even though the device confirmed that they were sent. Another reporter had difficulty receiving and replying to e-mails in her Yahoo account.

At the start of the program, passengers can send and receive e-mail from any type of e-mail account on BlackBerry 8820 and 8320 models. Laptop users are only able to use Yahoo e-mail and Yahoo's instant messaging application, at least from the start.

[USA Today has more details.]

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