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We’ve known for a while now that WiFi on British Airways was coming to both short-haul and long-haul routes, but thanks to yesterday’s interesting PR event, InsideFlyer now has some fresh details to share.
What’s happening when?
- The rollout has already started for the long-haul network, with the first plane now equipped.
- The short-haul Wi-Fi rollout will commence later in the year when British Airways becomes the first airline to offer connectivity using Europe’s first ever 4G high-speed inflight network.
- The aim is to have 90 per cent of the total fleet (long-haul and short-haul) connected by 2019.
What will passengers be able to do?
The standard BA press release states that, “Customers will be able to use their own devices to browse the internet, access email and check social media. In addition, they will have the ability to stream video content from popular sites such as Netflix and YouTube”.
On the Press flight, British Airways CEO and Chairman Alex Cruz, emphasised that this included “high-bandwidth over the Atlantic Ocean” and made the point that both short-haul and long-haul internet would be “very, very fast”.
I guess we’ll find out pretty soon if it lives up to the hype!
How much will it cost?
There are two options:
- Simply Connect, which will support basic web browsing, email and instant messaging.
- Connect Plus, which will provide a faster connection speed supporting video streaming services.
Simply Connect prices will start from £4.99 for 1 hour.
Connect Plus prices will start from £7.99 for 1 hour.
1-Hour, 4-Hour and Whole Flight packages for both speeds will be available, but further pricing details were not released.
It’s worth pointing out that these prices are subject to change. Mr Cruz explained that “(This pricing is) a first start, we have no idea how the pricing will evolve…This is what we are starting with”.
WiFi on British Airways Bottom line
Being able to access WiFi on British Airways across the fleet is a definite improvement. If the speed is as fast and reliable as has been made out (and that’s a pretty big ‘if’ at this stage), and if there isn’t a data cap, then I don’t think the hourly pricing looks too bad. I’d love to see what the ballpark figure for the whole flight packages is though!