…despite the rapid expansion of Wi-Fi on airplanes, no one has found a profitable way to cover installation costs with the scant revenue generated by the limited number of passengers who have been willing to pay for Internet service at 35,000 feet.

The great advances in airplane Internet connections are being driven far more by the opportunities that high-speed broadband service presents for airlines themselves to essentially sell more things to the customers, whether the product is in-flight entertainment, food and drink, customized services to elite-status passengers or products at the destination, including hotel packages, sports and concert tickets, restaurant and theater reservations.

On an airplane, you have a captive market, and with sophisticated technology, you can sell to passengers in very personal ways.

Photo Credit: A child picks movies to stream on her iPad. Jetstar Airways / Flickr