Wi-Fi Internet access is becoming the rule rather than the exception on U.S. airlines, and some say it has the potential to be a profitable venture for carriers in more ways than one. "Normally, air carriers rush to purchase capital equipment that raises their cost but doesn't raise their revenue," says industry expert Harlan Platt of Northeastern University. "This is actually a revenue-producing tactic. And it's a good one because it's providing value to the passenger and it's creating incremental revenues for the airline." Currently eight major carriers have implemented Wi-Fi service or limited tests, while three others say they are looking into it.
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