Rejoice, the Age of Crummy In-Flight Wifi Is Practically Over

Flying in general may be terrible, but in one notable way, it’s improving: American today became the latest airline to add high-speed, satellite-enabled wifi service to its fleet.

Want to track the plane — and book it, if you need, say, a flight from Orlando to D.C.? See here

This plane is using Gogo’s 2Ku satellite-based service. For the moment, much of American’s fleet is using Gogo’s air-to-ground service — also known as the the old slow one. Other planes will use the ViaSat satellite service. Basically, it’s a mishmash, which is confusing for passengers and downright irritating for regular travelers, since the multiple providers mean it’ll be tricky to settle on a single subscription: If you buy a subcribe to Gogo and end up on a ViaSat plane, you’ll likely be out of luck. 

But how fast is fast? Unthrottled speeds approved 20Mbps — but you can expect the airlines, wary of, say, Pinterest super-users, to throttle usage at some point.

The rosier takeaway: High-speed Internet will soon be a reality on all flights — including international.