Phew! Just when it looked like all hope was lost for the service behind those crazy ugly, 5-dollars-per-minute phones that airlines once jammed into the back of headrests, JetBlue’s LiveTV has stepped in to save the day.
In 2006, Verizon pulled Airfone from just about every plane it had been installed on. At the end of 2007, Airfone announced they’d be closing up shop completely in just over 12 months, be it that they couldn’t find someone to buy’em up.
LiveTV has announced that they have finished the necessary negotiations and plan to take over Airfone starting January 1st, 2009. No financial details have been disclosed. LiveTV will be using Airfone to expand their “KiteLine” service, which lets passengers text, IM, and email from their seat (for free, no less). As the bulky handsets were apparently a bit of a failure on commercial flights, it’s likely that JetBlue’s mainly in this for the “100 air-to-ground US communications towers” they’ll be getting out of the deal.