British Airways has started the roll out of high-speed Wi-Fi on its long-haul aircraft, with its first three connected aircraft now in service.
The airline will connect 118 of its long haul aircraft over the next two years. By 2019 they expect to have 90% of their aircraft connected. That’s about 9 or 10 10 a month. To start with, passengers have to wait until they are onboard to find out if their aircraft has Wi-Fi.
The internet will be available about 10 minutes after take-off when the aircraft has passed 10,000ft. The portal will work with the latest operating systems from Apple, Android and Windows, allowing passengers to connect on a variety of devices.
The available bandwidth is shared by all passengers on board, which means that the actual speed depends on the number of users at any given time. And passengers can only use the service on one device, so no switching between mobile and laptop.
Passengers can choose from two paid-for Wi-Fi packages:
- the ‘Browse’ package, which supports internet surfing, social media and WhatsApp
- the ‘Stream’ package, which supports streaming of music and entertainment, including Netflix*.
Prices for the Browse package begin from £4.99 and Stream from £7.99. The packages are available for one hour, four hours or the full flight.
For a limited time, passengers will be able to connect and enjoy an hour of free browsing and streaming, courtesy of Visa.
Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience:
“British Airways has launched its multi-million pound investment plan to benefit its customers with more choice and quality for all.
“Staying connected is important to our customers who want to be able to work, browse and stream in the air. They can now look forward to enjoying the latest generation Wi-Fi across our long haul fleet over the next two years.”
N.B. Image credit: British Airways