British Airways is adding Wi-Fi to its international flights
Stream some Netflix while you cruise the skies with British Airways, at a cost.
British Airways has announced that it's implementing what it's calling high-speed Wi-Fi across its fleet, with three aircraft already in service and the full fleet of 118 planes due to go into service over the next two years.
In-flight Internet has become a heavily hyped part of the in-flight experience in recent years, with only a handful of carriers offering access at anything approaching a sane price, although some will provide it at no cost for certain flight classes. As a hint, if your ticket has the word "economy" in it anywhere, you probably don't qualify.
British Airways launch deal sees it partnering with Visa to give customers on one of its three Internet-ready planes an hour's free access during flight. If you thirst for more connectivity after that time you'll have to pay, with pricing starting at £4.99 for an hour's basic access, or £7.99 for the higher-speed "Stream" package. As the name suggests, that latter package is designed for accessing services such as Netflix while in-flight.
There are some limitations to the service beyond the fact that it's currently only available on 2.5% of the fleet. You can't access the Internet until approximately 10 minutes after takeoff, allowing the plane to reach at least 10,000 feet.
The service itself is provided by satellite provider Gogo, with speed promises that only offer at least 250kbps on the basic Browse package or no less than 1Mbps on the Stream package. That means you're very much going to be stuck in a standard-definition Netflix world while in the skies.
You've also only got the choice of three package variants, covering an hour's usage, four hours or however long the flight might be. British Airways hasn't announced which three planes are Wi-Fi ready, either, so you'd have to book your flight and wait until you were on board to find out if you were able to take advantage of the service anyway.