Can't you use dial-up on the air phones? What was the "Send 12 one-page e-mails in one minute" business I was reading on one of my recent flights. I imagine the connection is shitty and slow, but I suppose you could connect if you really wanted to.
Yes you can get online on the airplanes, just not in the high speed broadband way that was being talked about. You can still plug the airfone into the laptop etc and get online... for a staggering 6 dollars a minute