Old Oct 26, 2015, 2:06 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Adam Smith
General WiFi Tidbits
  • WiFi is managed by "WiFi Onboard", formerly known as "Gogo"
  • If you have a pass from WiFi OnBoard for their entire fleet that will generally work
  • You can redeem Aeroplan points for various packages ranging from one hour to the entire flight and at different speeds
  • Only one device at a time can use the plan. Once you log in with another device with your WiFi Onboard or Aeroplan account the other device will drop
  • Rouge J customers are now getting a one-time WiFi Onboard code for free WiFi on the flight instead of getting an iPad


Detailed WiFi roll-out info compiled by FTers:

Planes with WiFi (confirmed by FTers):
  • GoGo 2Ku satellite-based system (fast, large coverage area, including over water - coverage map):
    • 223
    • 319 (rouge)
    • 320 (rouge)
    • 321 (rouge)
    • 333 (except 946 and 948)
    • 788
    • 789 (except 860)
    • 77L
    • 77W
  • Gogo ATG system (old, slow, only works over land in North America, and not very far north - coverage map)
    • CR9: 701-721, 780-784 (note: a recent report from a Jazz pilot suggests the system may be disabled on 780-784)
    • E75
    • 319 (mainline)
    • 320 (mainline)
    • 321 (mainline)

Remaining planes planned for WiFi that are still without WiFI or unknown:
  • CR9: 722-730 (note: a recent report from a Jazz pilot suggests the system may be disabled on 780-784)
  • 7M8: all (AC had an embarrassing escapade with a Thales system that was completely inadequate. As of March 2023, they appear to have given up on this system. What they plan to replace it with is uncertain)
  • 789: 860
  • 333: 946, 948

Planes with no plans to install WiFi:
  • DH4s
  • CRJs


Air Canada Status WiFi Benefit
  • The benefit lasts for 12 months from the date of activation, which is the first date you sign into Gogo on an AC flight using your Aeroplan account. Date of benefit selection is irrelevant. It must be activated by the end of the calendar year.
  • Benefit currently works on all aircraft with WiFi, except possibly rouge. Some rouge aircraft have reported having access to the Aeroplan sign in which was required for the Aeroplan benefit to work. It's unknown whether the benefit will be extended to those fleets in the future.
  • The benefit says you can have up to 5 users but that is five unique devices in a one month period and not simultaneous usage. You will need to log off one device to use another device on the same flight. GoGo will apparently block if it sees too many devices in a one month period to avoid credential sharing.
  • There are huge problems with the Aeroplan login for this benefit. There is a high likelihood that you will need to attempt to log in numerous times for it to work, and it may not work at all. Chatting with WiFi Onboard support should get you a one-time code for free WiFi for the flight.
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On-Board WIFI (2013-2022)

Old Nov 20, 2021, 4:06 pm
  #1531  
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Originally Posted by qrctraveller
Returned home on AC 841 on November 16 and the wifi didn't work as soon as the flight departed. I ate and then slept and when we arrived in Canadian airspace, it continued not to work.
"Didn't work" in what way? No network visible? Network visible, but unable to connect to Internet? Did you report it to the cabin crew? Did you see whether it was working for anyone else?
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Old Nov 22, 2021, 8:02 am
  #1532  
 
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Originally Posted by canadiancow
I've had no issue with the SE benefit, but I've only used it on 6 flights.

There are ways around the one device limit. Like counting a router to Gogo, and all your devices to the router.

Or getting a phone that has that functionality built in, like most modern Android devices, but not any iPhones.
Is the SE benefit automatic? I selected it as one of my 2021 benefits, however when I click on "see benefits", it still says "Activate by Dec 31, 2021", and I have no idea how to activate it... canadiancow, your wisdom would be greatly appreciated :-)
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Old Nov 22, 2021, 8:06 am
  #1533  
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Originally Posted by cager
Is the SE benefit automatic? I selected it as one of my 2021 benefits, however when I click on "see benefits", it still says "Activate by Dec 31, 2021", and I have no idea how to activate it... canadiancow, your wisdom would be greatly appreciated :-)
You activate it by logging into Gogo with your Aeroplan credentials while in flight.
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Old Nov 22, 2021, 8:34 am
  #1534  
 
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Adam,

The error clue would state something to the effect that it was out of the network coverage. I had already complained on the initial flight to gogo. I have a few MR trips at the end of this week, so I will take images of any error messages. I also would take your recommendation to ask the flight attendant if my wifi is the only issue.
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Old Dec 8, 2021, 5:55 pm
  #1535  
 
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Does anyone know if there is a way to activate your Wi-Fi account (elite benefit) without being on an airplane? I fly YEG-YVR-YEG weekly, but the route is serviced almost exclusively by 7M8 and those aircraft don't currently have Wi-Fi. I only made my select benefits a few months ago (I wanted to see how the year was going with pandemic, etc. before committing to a benefit selection), but flights that had been scheduled for 220, etc. all got changed to 7M8 for the past few months and all flights booked through the end of the year are 7M8 too.

There is 1 daily CR9 flight, and I'm thinking of doing a SDC to change to that flight on my next trip in a few days, but unfortunately that flight is showing as being operated by FIN729 which does not appear to have Wi-Fi. I could consider trying this approach on my next few trips, but really want to confirm my activation.

Does anyone know if WiFi is active when planes are on the ground? If I were to stand near the glass at a terminal at a gate close to the aircraft could I possibly connect and activate (I often get airport Wi-Fi signal while seated on the plane in YVR and YEG).
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Old Dec 8, 2021, 6:24 pm
  #1536  
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Originally Posted by YEG USER
Does anyone know if there is a way to activate your Wi-Fi account (elite benefit) without being on an airplane?
I can't answer this question, but can answer a couple of the smaller ones...

There is 1 daily CR9 flight, and I'm thinking of doing a SDC to change to that flight on my next trip in a few days, but unfortunately that flight is showing as being operated by FIN729 which does not appear to have Wi-Fi.
If your flight isn't "for a few days", good chance the FIN will change. Although you'll still have a higher than 8/34 chance of no WiFi on another FIN. Of course, by the time you SDC, you should have pretty high confidence in the FIN, especially if you're SDCing the YEG-YVR leg (it flies YVR-YEG-YVR, so once it leaves YVR, you're pretty set).

Does anyone know if WiFi is active when planes are on the ground? If I were to stand near the glass at a terminal at a gate close to the aircraft could I possibly connect and activate.
No. Not until after takeoff.

Last edited by Adam Smith; Dec 8, 2021 at 6:54 pm
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Old Dec 8, 2021, 9:53 pm
  #1537  
 
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith
I can't answer this question, but can answer a couple of the smaller ones...



If your flight isn't "for a few days", good chance the FIN will change. Although you'll still have a higher than 8/34 chance of no WiFi on another FIN. Of course, by the time you SDC, you should have pretty high confidence in the FIN, especially if you're SDCing the YEG-YVR leg (it flies YVR-YEG-YVR, so once it leaves YVR, you're pretty set).



No. Not until after takeoff.
Thanks for the response. The YVR-YEG flight is on Friday and the inbound aircraft is supposedly ORD-YVR. I’ll keep monitoring. I’d likely only SDC if the FIN changes a few hours prior to departure and I can guarantee a flight with Wi-Fi.
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Old Dec 14, 2021, 12:27 am
  #1538  
 
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Originally Posted by YEG USER
Thanks for the response. The YVR-YEG flight is on Friday and the inbound aircraft is supposedly ORD-YVR. I’ll keep monitoring. I’d likely only SDC if the FIN changes a few hours prior to departure and I can guarantee a flight with Wi-Fi.
Update. Stars aligned and it was an aircraft with wifi. Unfortunately I kept getting an “unable to connect” error and gave up after 1/2 the flight. Towards the end of the flight I tried again and was finally able to connect, but the plane dropped below 10,000 feet as I was doing the sign in and lost the connection again, so never activated. Might try again this week if it looks like it’ll be an aircraft with wifi. I wish the 7M8’s had operational wifi.
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Old Dec 14, 2021, 1:36 am
  #1539  
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Originally Posted by YEG USER
Update. Stars aligned and it was an aircraft with wifi. Unfortunately I kept getting an “unable to connect” error and gave up after 1/2 the flight.
I've had a lot of flights in the last few weeks where it took a long time to get it up and running. Not sure whether there's anything new or different at AC or Gogo lately.

I wish the 7M8’s had operational wifi.
Wouldn't help you if they did, because they're on a different system (Thales, not Gogo) and the pass isn't valid on those.
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Old Dec 14, 2021, 10:49 am
  #1540  
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith
Wouldn't help you if they did, because they're on a different system (Thales, not Gogo) and the pass isn't valid on those.
Have you attempted it on a 7M8? (I have not)

One of the benefits of using Aeroplan login for this perk, rather than getting a Gogo code like before, is that there's no longer a technical reason it couldn't apply to any system they'd ever use.
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Old Dec 14, 2021, 1:22 pm
  #1541  
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Originally Posted by canadiancow
Have you attempted it on a 7M8? (I have not)

One of the benefits of using Aeroplan login for this perk, rather than getting a Gogo code like before, is that there's no longer a technical reason it couldn't apply to any system they'd ever use.
I have been through the purchase flow on the 7M8 WiFi, as posted here. There was no Aeroplan login option. It's possible they could build it in in the future, but unless something has changed in the last few weeks, it's not there.

The elite status benefits explicitly say it only works on Gogo though, so I wouldn't expect it to work on the 7M8 Thales system, unless they change the benefit.
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Old Dec 14, 2021, 1:50 pm
  #1542  
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith
I have been through the purchase flow on the 7M8 WiFi, as posted here. There was no Aeroplan login option. It's possible they could build it in in the future, but unless something has changed in the last few weeks, it's not there.

The elite status benefits explicitly say it only works on Gogo though, so I wouldn't expect it to work on the 7M8 Thales system, unless they change the benefit.
Given the size of the 7M8 fleet, I would expect it to eventually work.

When those benefit terms were written, did they have anything other than Gogo?

Not a big deal at the moment, but I do hope it works on the MAX. It would be a ridiculous reason for me to avoid it.
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Old Dec 14, 2021, 2:34 pm
  #1543  
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Originally Posted by canadiancow
When those benefit terms were written, did they have anything other than Gogo?
I believe the 7M8 has always been a Thales system, so yes, they did have something else when they introduced the benefit. Although maybe they forgot about that since the MAXes were all grounded at the time. It was end of 2019 (for 2020 benefit year) when they first introduced it, wasn't it?

Not a big deal at the moment, but I do hope it works on the MAX. It would be a ridiculous reason for me to avoid it.
Right now people are reporting it's not even working on Gogo-equipped rouge flights, so I'm not so sure...
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Old Dec 17, 2021, 5:35 am
  #1544  
 
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Sorry if this has been discussed. Have now had 5 rouge flights where I am not able to access my super elite wifi pass and have had to pay. On AC flights I can login with my aeroplan number but on Rouge you can only login with Gogo username and as Aeroplan doesn't give you a code for a wifi pass I have to pay each time. Anyone know a work around? Have asked both Gogo and Air Canada and they are clueless.
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Old Dec 17, 2021, 3:53 pm
  #1545  
 
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Success! Finally activated account (2 accounts actually, mine and gifted status account)! First post from in the air.
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