British Airways have announced that Wi-Fi is now available on some of its long haul services. The plan is to roll out the service on 118 aircraft serving international destinations over the next two years.

Technological advances mean passengers will be able to stream content from providers such as Netflix while flying. This promises to transform the on board experience compared to flights with no connectivity.

Wi-Fi Pricing Compared

There are two plans at British Airways, one for browsing and one for streaming. These are further divided into blocks of one hour, four hours or the entire flight. An hour of browsing or streaming costs £4.99 and £7.99 respectively. Images provided with the press release seem to show £17.99 and £23.99 as the pricing for the four hours and entire flight.

In order to celebrate the introduction of the service, Visa is sponsoring the Wi-Fi for a limited time. This means all passengers will receive an hour of browsing or streaming for free.

By comparison, Ireland’s Aer Lingus offer Wi-Fi on their transatlantic services which I found to be very good. They have three plans and charge €6.95 for 50MB, €13.95 for 120MB and €29.95 for 270MB. The service is complimentary for their business class passengers.

No mention is made of a complimentary service for any British Airways passengers which means people paying a lot for a first class or business class ticket may be somewhat put out at the fact they will have to pay for their connectivity on board.

Club World London City

Internet connectivity is already available on British Airways all business class 32 seat Club World London City service. Unfortunately it is old technology and is pretty much slow and unusable.

Considering the exclusivity of this service, I am hopeful that the new upgrade will extend to this service. If any flight needed fast Internet service, it is this one.

Overall Thoughts

Just three aircraft are currently fitted with Wi-Fi at British Airways so your chances of getting one are slim right now. As mentioned before, it is being progressively introduced this year and next year so it will become more common as time passes.

Connectivity in flight is now becoming the standard on many carriers and it will continue to do so. What is interesting is how this will affect the currently installed seat back entertainment – will it stay or will it go?

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Images via British Airways.