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 Apr 20, 2017, 12:24 pm
  #736  
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Originally Posted by Orcair
https://runwaygirlnetwork.com/2017/0...ss-a319-fleet/

I guess this explains why the intl fleet hasn't been retrofitted

All 20 Rouge 319s now have Gogo 2Ku, but as the article mentions, no confirmation from Air Canada... yet.
Funny how the screenshot in the article matches the one I posted here

Couldn't even pick a lunch/dinner flight.
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Old Apr 20, 2017, 12:25 pm
  #737  
 
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Originally Posted by YYT82
The last few times I used the onboard WiFi on AC flights, the speed was terrible and the connectivity was inconsistent.
That's interesting and seems plausible, but the 2Ku system will be miles ahead of the ATG-4 system on mainline. Maybe a reason to go out of one's way to pick Rouge for those who want >5mbps!
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Old Apr 22, 2017, 8:03 am
  #738  
 
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Free WIFI

Will WIFI every be free?
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Old Apr 22, 2017, 9:11 am
  #739  
 
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Originally Posted by OSSYULYYZ
Will WIFI every be free?
I hope not!!!

There is a limited amount of bandwidth available, because of the technology. Having people pay for it limits how many use it. If it's free and everyone can use it, it's going to get so so so slow that no one is going to want to.
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Old Apr 22, 2017, 9:18 am
  #740  
 
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Originally Posted by Sean Peever
I hope not!!!

There is a limited amount of bandwidth available, because of the technology. Having people pay for it limits how many use it. If it's free and everyone can use it, it's going to get so so so slow that no one is going to want to.
Are you assuming that the technology will never improve?
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Old Apr 22, 2017, 9:20 am
  #741  
 
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Originally Posted by Sean Peever
I hope not!!!

There is a limited amount of bandwidth available, because of the technology. Having people pay for it limits how many use it. If it's free and everyone can use it, it's going to get so so so slow that no one is going to want to.
Or that people won't want to pay for faster service? At least allow people who want to check email and surf the web a connection albeit a really slow one...
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Old Apr 22, 2017, 9:47 am
  #742  
 
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Originally Posted by OSSYULYYZ
Or that people won't want to pay for faster service? At least allow people who want to check email and surf the web a connection albeit a really slow one...
in this case, I have to agree with Sean. As with many things, if this was given free, then people won't value it. Charging a small amount for it actually forces people to think about if they need it or not.

Personally, I'm of two minds for this. It's great to stay in touch, but there are times when you need to disconnect. Having to pay a fee causes most people to pause and think about whether they need it or not.

Beyond quality issues, it also cuts down on those who will connect to the net and start an audio conversation in the middle of the cabin (it happens)
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Old Apr 22, 2017, 10:05 am
  #743  
 
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It's free in TATL FI J.
Just about usable, a few yeas ago now. Required some reference off my BP to connect a netbook.

LH wifi was decent and affordable the one time I used it too. UA was shockingly poor and most people couldn't connect

An extra point. The TTC offers free wifi that is useless, I spent 15 minutes connecting once.
Compare this to the Russian subway system which is amazing. Well amazing if you can speak Russian and work out how to login.

All depends how many $$$ are put into a system. I don't see wifi ever being free in Y, but in J or F? Why not.

15 years ago I had a 56k modem and paid by the minute, I didn't even get broadband until post University and it was like 2mb. Now you can get 1gb. Obviously with all the techs here I need to say I'm aware of the limitations and the fact that we won't continue at this rate for ever ... but in 20, 30 years? Makes one wonder.

I just don't see airlines who charge for hand luggage and seats providing wifi for free.

I do question if I want decent wifi though, I get more emails from my boss when he's on a plane than in the office. And I certainly don't want to me next to someone face timing with someone at top volume.

Last edited by jc94; Apr 22, 2017 at 10:14 am
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Old Apr 22, 2017, 7:56 pm
  #744  
 
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Originally Posted by Sean Peever
I hope not!!!

There is a limited amount of bandwidth available, because of the technology. Having people pay for it limits how many use it. If it's free and everyone can use it, it's going to get so so so slow that no one is going to want to.
I agree. I am willing to cough up when I need to use it, if I don't I won't bother. If it was free I'd be on there scrolling Twitter all the time, slowing down the guy desperately trying to do something he's willing to pay for.
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Old Apr 22, 2017, 8:43 pm
  #745  
 
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Originally Posted by jc94
An extra point. The TTC offers free wifi that is useless, I spent 15 minutes connecting once.
Compare this to the Russian subway system which is amazing. Well amazing if you can speak Russian and work out how to login.
The wifi on the TTC is useless. Unless you're within the station that has it and there's a delay, there's no real point in using it. When they get it into the tunnels, then it'll be worth it.

That said, I actually enjoy the disconnect when I'm in the tunnels. You actually hear people talking to each other (or nothing at all)



Originally Posted by jc94
I do question if I want decent wifi though, I get more emails from my boss when he's on a plane than in the office. And I certainly don't want to me next to someone face timing with someone at top volume.
I can see that happening. Walking up and down the aisles, I often see people typing up emails in Outlook or whatever client they're using. I'd hate to see the floods of emails being sent as soon as a wifi signal presents itself.
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Old Apr 22, 2017, 8:47 pm
  #746  
 
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VOIP calls are already technically feasible but banned by policy (and some targeted firewall rules, too) on every major carrier. My seatmate started up a call on Hangouts on a United flight which lasted about 30 seconds before an FA appeared to tell her to turn it off NOW.
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Old Apr 22, 2017, 9:11 pm
  #747  
 
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Originally Posted by eigenvector
VOIP calls are already technically feasible but banned by policy (and some targeted firewall rules, too) on every major carrier. My seatmate started up a call on Hangouts on a United flight which lasted about 30 seconds before an FA appeared to tell her to turn it off NOW.
Good to know

We are, as a planet, far too connected these days!
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Old Apr 23, 2017, 4:41 am
  #748  
 
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In the US, its always free on Alaska as long as it's for texting type apps. With T-mobile it's also free to text/chat on any US airline, and you get one hour free for anything you want with all their cell phone plans -- unlimited on any airline if you get the extra 15$/month plan (to rub it in for Canadians, that's the plan that for 65$ gives you unlimited LTE in all of North America plus 3G in 118 countries and unlimited Gogo on all airlines but AC).

Speeds are plenty fast for me to stream at 192kbit with Plex ;-)
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Old Apr 23, 2017, 7:38 am
  #749  
 
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Originally Posted by YEG_SE4Life
Are you assuming that the technology will never improve?
No, but there will not be quick improvements. They would have to upgrade the type of antenna used etc, so it won't happen often.

Originally Posted by OSSYULYYZ
Or that people won't want to pay for faster service? At least allow people who want to check email and surf the web a connection albeit a really slow one...
While I get the logic, it's just not reasonable.

IF AC has GoGo ATG-4 (only 600 planes have it but let's assume best case) the entire plane can do 9.8 Mbps best case scenario. Realistically 90% of the time you're going to be doing 7 Mbps or less.

AC 321 = 183 pax + crew so let's assume a few empty seats and say 185.

That works out to 0.0378 Mbps per pax. A 56.6K dial-up modem is .056 or basically twice as fast...... yes everyone would have to get HALF the speed of dial-up.


BUT WAIT THERE's MORE

ok, let's assume someone is willing to pay for faster speed! Actually let's assume that 10 people are willing to pay for faster speed on a flight of 185 (yes, let's be conservative).

We're not going to give them great speed (because we still have to support those free people) so let's give them a .5 Mbps each. So 5 Mbps will go to the paid users.

So the 175 free users get to share 2 Mbps..... so that's .011Mbps or 20% the speed of dial up.

So while yes, I do agree with the general idea - it's really not reasonable to give it free to the plane.
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Old Apr 23, 2017, 12:53 pm
  #750  
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Originally Posted by aionesu
In the US, its always free on Alaska as long as it's for texting type apps. With T-mobile it's also free to text/chat on any US airline, and you get one hour free for anything you want with all their cell phone plans -- unlimited on any airline if you get the extra 15$/month plan (to rub it in for Canadians, that's the plan that for 65$ gives you unlimited LTE in all of North America plus 3G in 118 countries and unlimited Gogo on all airlines but AC).

Speeds are plenty fast for me to stream at 192kbit with Plex ;-)
It's actually only an extra $5/month now.
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