jetblue-inflight-wifiGive JetBlue credit: It strives to offer free WiFi service to travelers -- in airports and in flight. But so far, those efforts haven't really impressed The VAR Guy. And the latest effort is downright disappointing. Here's why.

During a flight from New York to Las Vegas today, The VAR Guy tested Jet Blue's beta WiFi service. First, the good news. Using the free in-flight WiFi service involves a simple three-step process.

Step 1: Agree to watch a 30-second advertisement. In this case, JiWire technology served up an ad for Charles Schwab Bank. Nice. Simple. Effective.

Step 2: Click a “Get Free Access” button to start the ad. Again, super-simple.

Step 3: Upon completion of the ad, it’s time to “enjoy your free access.” That’s where the problems started.

Once the ad completes, the WiFi serve offers four options. Using:
  • Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger
  • Amazon.com
  • Corporate email
  • Or another email service
Um, there’s only one thing worse than no WiFi service… it’s free service where you don’t really have full access to the Web. And in this case, JetBlue’s decision to offer such a limited menu of Internet content was painfully lame.

Back on the ground, JetBlue's free WiFi service at JFK International Airport in New York is hit and miss, based on the number of travelers online at a given time.

Memo to JetBlue: The VAR Guy will gladly pay $9(US) for in-flight WiFi that offers complete Internet access. In the meantime, please stop teasing your loyal customers with such a limited, useless service. Admittedly, the JetBlue in-flight WiFi service is in beta. Let’s hope the final, production system is vastly different.

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