Free holiday wifi comes to Europe too, courtesy of Lufthansa

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The Independent Travel

European air passengers jealous of Google's free inflight wifi promotion with AirTran, Delta and Virgin America are in luck after Lufthansa announced free wifi on some flights to mark the reintroduction of inflight broadband internet November 30.

The German flag-carrier was the first in the world to offer in-flight broadband internet back in January 2003, but was forced to pull the functionality when Boeing discontinued support for the service in 2006.

Now, Lufthansa will once again offer wifi on flights and is claiming to be the first airline to offer broadband internet access on intercontinental routes, although Oman Air unveiled similar functionality on its long-haul flights earlier this year.

The wifi service will initially become available on North Atlantic routes and will be rolled out to most of the airline's intercontinental network by the end of 2011.

Passengers will be able to access the internet for free until January 31, 2011, when tariffs of €10.95 for one hour or €19.95 for 24 hours will come into effect.

Members of Lufthansa's Miles & More program will also be able to pay with frequent flyer points - 3,500 miles for one hour's access or 7,000 miles for 24 hours.

The airline also confirmed that from April 2011 passengers will be able to use their mobile phones to make and receive calls, use GPRS data and send and receive text messages.