It seems that Continental is getting the idea that it is e-mail that matters the most to travelers, and not all of the other bells and whistles of the Internet.
Many airlines have been playing around with offering Wi-Fi for a fee on their planers, but according to The New York Times, Continental is testing a system where they will provide you with free e-mail access, but if you want to do more than that it’ll cost you.
Personally I think this is a fantastic idea. As I’m 6’3″, the idea of trying to take up some of my cramped seating in coach with my laptop has never appealed to me, but getting out my iPod Touch to just work on cleaning up my e-mail would thrill me. The Continental flights will be offering both the e-mail only solution and the full Wi-Fi for a while so that they can see which service people seem to prefer.
Considering the length of most domestic flights, I would say the e-mail only solution is going to be the over-whelming winner … that, and it’s free.