JetBlue has been offering free satellite-powered Wi-Fi to its customers for a while now. Flight passengers received limited bandwidth access, allowing them to check their email — but if they wanted to stream videos, they had to pay $9 an hour for larger bandwidth.

Now, thanks to a deal with Amazon, JetBlue passengers can stream in-flight TV and movies for free. Flyers will get access to Amazon Prime and Amazon Music, which together host thousands of movies, TV shows and songs.

There's no content deal for flyers, though — they'll just get the same access as they would have on land. Amazon Prime members can watch some programming for free, whereas nonmembers will have to pay for the content they access.

Amazon's library includes its original programming as well as the usual catalog of TV shows and movies. Prime members can also access Amazon's Music Store for free, while non-Prime customers can pay to download or stream tracks.

JetBlue says the "Fly-Fi" service offers broadband speed of 12 Mbps to 20 Mbps (megabits per second). Some bandwidth-intensive features such as large file transfers and movie downloads will still incur charges, but the airline won't charge for streaming Amazon Prime content. Of course, you'll still have to pay Amazon if the program you want isn't part of your membership package.

Amazon Prime, which costs $99 per year, provides free two-day shipping on millions of items, as well as access to thousands of titles on Prime Instant Video, including the Golden Globe-winning original series "Transparent."

"Working with JetBlue to provide high-speed Internet access that can support instant streaming, at no cost, is a great advantage to travelers," said Michael Paull, Amazon's vice president of digital video.

"Just like at home, customers will be able to access movies and TV shows from Amazon from 35,000 feet in the sky over our super-fast and free Fly-Fi," added Jamie Perry, JetBlue's vice president of brand and product development.

The Wi-Fi service will be available on all JetBlue's Fly-Fi equipped Airbus A321 and A320 aircraft this year, and on JetBlue's Embraer E190 aircraft in 2016. 

Photo: Anthony Quintano | Flickr

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