On-board WiFi: soft launch is underway

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Old Mar 19, 19, 12:49 am   -   Wikipost
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Onboard WiFi is being progessively introduced to both BA's long and shorthaul fleets and is being marketed as Highlife Connect. This thread is to track the rollout.

See https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb.../wifi-on-board for BA's FAQ on the system.

Longhaul aircraft with WiFi fitted
A380 - 5 Aircraft

G-XLEA, G-XLEB, G-XLEG, G-XLEH, G-XLEI

747 (Super Hi-J) - 17 Aircraft

G-CIVF, G-CIVH, G-CIVI, G-CIVR, G-CIVS, G-CIVV, G-CIVW, G-CIVX, G-CIVY, G-CIVZ
G-BYGA, G-BYGB, G-BYGC, G-BYGD, G-BYGE, G-BYGF, G-BYGG

777-200 (4 Class) - 23 Aircraft

​​​​​​G-VIIA, G-VIIC, G-VIID, G-VIIE, G-VIIF, G-VIIG, G-VIIH, G-VIIJ, G-VIIK, G-VIIL, G-VIIM, G-VIIN, G-VIIS, G-VIIV, G-VIIW, G-VIIY
G-YMMJ, G-YMMK, G-YMML, G-YMMN, G-YMMO, G-YMMP
G-RAES

​​​​​​777-200 (3 Class) - 13 Aircraft

G-VIIO, G-VIIU, G-VIIX
G-YMMA, G-YMMB, G-YMMC, G-YMMD, G-YMME, G-YMMF, G-YMMR, G-YMMS, G-YMMT, G-YMMU

777-300 - 8 Aircraft

G-STBA, G-STBB, G-STBC, G-STBD, G-STBE, G-STBG, G-STBI, G-STBL

787-9 - 1 Aircraft

G-ZBKI


This is the current cost for longhaul flights:

Basic (Browse package)
  • 1 hour: £4.99
  • 4 hours: £10.99
  • Full flight: £14.99

Fast (Stream package)
  • 1 hour: £7.99
  • 4 hours: £17.99
  • Full flight: £23.99

Longhaul aircraft planned NOT to have WiFi fitted
BA have decided to not fit WiFi to the aircraft listed below. Some of the aircraft are due to be retired from the fleet over the next two years. This is thought to be part of the reason for not fitting them with WiFi.

747 (Mid-J) - 16 Aircraft

G-BNLN, G-BNLY
G-CIVA, G-CIVB, G-CIVC, G-CIVD, G-CIVE, G-CIVJ, G-CIVK, G-CIVL, G-CIVM, G-CIVN, G-CIVO, G-CIVP, G-CIVT, G-CIVU

747 (Super Hi-J) - 1 Aircraft

G-CIVG

777-200 (4 Class) - 3 Aircraft

G-ZZZA, G-ZZZB, G-ZZZC

Longhaul aircraft still to be fitted with WiFi
WiFi installation on the remaining longhaul aircraft in operation is expected to be completed in 2020. Dates shown below are roughly when each aircraft is planned to return to service having undergone WiFi installation. Aircraft are listed firstly by type, then listed by planned return to service date.

Information shown may subject to change and is based on info posted in this thread.


A380

G-XLEC - 13 May (Currently at MNL)
G-XLEJ - 18 June
G-XLED - 18 August
G-XLEE - 24 October
G-XLEK - 29 November
G-XLEF - February 2020
G-XLEL - 2020

777-200 (4 Class)

G-YMMH - 13 May
G-YMMG - 23 May
G-VIIB - 30 June
G-YMMI - 13 July

777-200 (3 Class)

G-VIIP - 8 April (currently at CWL)
G-VIIR - 30 April
G-VIIT - 24 October

​​​​​​777-300

G-STBK - 18 June
G-STBH - 27 November
G-STBF - 2020
G-STBJ - 2020

787-8
All expected to be fitted in 2020

787-9

G-ZBKJ - 14 April
G-ZBKK - 23 April
G-ZBKH - 2 May
G-ZBKL - 3 July
G-ZBKM - 12 July
G-ZBKG - 20 July
G-ZBKN - 28 July
G-ZBKO - 20 August
G-ZBKP - 22 November
G-ZBKA - 2020
G-ZBKB - 2020
G-ZBKC - 2020
G-ZBKD - 2020
G-ZBKE - 2020
G-ZBKF - 2020
G-ZBKR - 2020
G-ZBKS - 2020

For a full list click here: spreadsheet.
Shorthaul aircraft with WiFi fitted and enabled
Following testing the system went live on the first few aircraft in March 2019 with full rollout expected by summer 2019.

A320 - 3 Aircraft

G-GATK
G-TTNC
G-TTOE

The following aircraft have WiFi fitted and in use for testing purposes only:

A319 - 2 Aircraft

G-EOUA
G-EUPP

A320 (CEO) - 8 Aircraft

G-EUUG, G-EUUK, G-EUUL, G-EUUM, G-EUUN, G-EUUP
G-EUYE
G-TTOB

The cost of wifi on shorthaul flights is dependant on the route. So far the following prices are known:-

Messaging £1.99 to £2.99

Browse & Stream
£6.99 (HAM)
£7.99 (LIS)

Shorthaul aircraft NOT planned to receive WiFi
BA plan to withdraw a number of their A319 aircraft over the next two years. As a result the aircraft listed below will not be fitted with WiFi.

A319 - 30 Aircraft

G-EUOB to I
G-EUPA to K, G-EUPW
G-DBCA-H, G-DBCJ, G-DBCK
Background information:
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Old Aug 16, 18, 11:52 am
  #271  
 
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Originally Posted by Quark999 View Post
Interesting! Perhaps that is the development they've been waiting for?
It's just one stage. In April Eutelsat appealed the French decision to license the EAN. That could take months to sort out.

https://spacenews.com/eutelsat-takes...s-ean-license/

I'm sure at some point Viasat and Eutelsat will give up as this must be costing them money and they don't seem to be having any success apart from delaying the EAN launch. Or maybe that's all they want to do until they get their own systems up and running?

Last edited by Schind; Aug 16, 18 at 11:58 am Reason: Typo
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Old Aug 16, 18, 3:01 pm
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I flew SEA-LHR on G-BYGE. When I checked, the WiFi signal was available, but the Website it takes you to said that Internet access was not yet active. That was early in the flight, and I didn't check later. When we were starting the descent, CC announced that the WiFi would be closing down along with IFE, so maybe they fired it up mid-flight.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 3:11 pm
  #273  
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Its automatically switched on above 10,000 feet.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 9:25 pm
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Is there anyway to check in advance (and how far out) which longhaul route the one wifi enabled A380 is provisionally scheduled for (assuming no late swaps). Selfishly I'd like g-xleg on LHR-HKG-LHR route as thats the only A380 I'm likely to fly, though could in theory fly via SIN instead.

I can see from flightradar24 history G-XLEG flies all the routes, some more frequently than others, but without any underlying pattern I can concern.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 11:27 pm
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Originally Posted by scubaccr View Post
Is there anyway to check in advance (and how far out) which longhaul route the one wifi enabled A380 is provisionally scheduled for (assuming no late swaps). Selfishly I'd like g-xleg on LHR-HKG-LHR route as thats the only A380 I'm likely to fly, though could in theory fly via SIN instead.

I can see from flightradar24 history G-XLEG flies all the routes, some more frequently than others, but without any underlying pattern I can concern.
If you want WiFi youíd have a much better chance going for the 77W flight to HKG, as 6 out of 12 of them are fitted with wifi giving you a 50/50 chance of getting WiFi compared to the 1 out of 12 on the A380.

Taking CX from Gatwick would also give you WiFi with their A350.
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Old Aug 17, 18, 2:41 am
  #276  
 
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Originally Posted by HighwayToHEL View Post
I flew SEA to LHR on Friday (747-400), and WiFi was available. I was surprised at the cost, especially when compared to Emirates at $1 for 600MB. Iíve used the Emirates WiFi before and it was fine; I felt the BA offering was too expensive.

Or am I just tight?
AA's long haul wifi, which works quite well most of the time [1], is $19 for the whole flight. So it's comparable pricing to their JBV ventures. Frankly, especially since I know in detail how complex the infrastructure is, you're expecting a lower cost than is practical.

Of course it has to work; Emirates might be cheap, but as noted below it doesn't always work. Emirates may also treat it as a loss-leader, quarterly and annual results with shareholder return are not their main focus as a company.

[1] One time it did not work very well but I had dismissed the experience as just something that can happen - Internet access from an aircraft flying over Iceland is a dancing bear, the wonder is that it dances at all not that it dances well. I was pleasantly and very surprised to receive an email a few days later with a refund of my payment because the experience had been less than promised, without action on my part. Is any other airline (than AA) actively monitoring the network service quality and refunding when it's bad?
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Old Aug 17, 18, 2:55 am
  #277  
 
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Originally Posted by flatlander View Post
AA's long haul wifi, which works quite well most of the time [1], is $19 for the whole flight. So it's comparable pricing to their JBV ventures. Frankly, especially since I know in detail how complex the infrastructure is, you're expecting a lower cost than is practical.

Of course it has to work; Emirates might be cheap, but as noted below it doesn't always work. Emirates may also treat it as a loss-leader, quarterly and annual results with shareholder return are not their main focus as a company.

[1] One time it did not work very well but I had dismissed the experience as just something that can happen - Internet access from an aircraft flying over Iceland is a dancing bear, the wonder is that it dances at all not that it dances well. I was pleasantly and very surprised to receive an email a few days later with a refund of my payment because the experience had been less than promised, without action on my part. Is any other airline (than AA) actively monitoring the network service quality and refunding when it's bad?
Cathay is USD19.95 for the whole flight LGW HKG
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Old Aug 17, 18, 2:59 am
  #278  
 
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Originally Posted by HighwayToHEL View Post
I flew SEA to LHR on Friday (747-400), and WiFi was available. I was surprised at the cost, especially when compared to Emirates at $1 for 600MB. Iíve used the Emirates WiFi before and it was fine; I felt the BA offering was too expensive.

Or am I just tight?
Reminds me of the hotels and Wi-Fi. In the early days it was paid for, now it's free usually.

EK is variable I agree. The 380s seem fine but the 777s mixed. However the live TV on EK was a bonus, I was on a flight to Johannesburg when England played Sweden and half the cabin was watching.

Is it a loss leader - I really dont know what the depreciation of the kit and the satellite connection costs. Maybe it isn't that much?
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Old Aug 17, 18, 3:39 am
  #279  
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Originally Posted by scubaccr View Post
Is there anyway to check in advance (and how far out) which longhaul route the one wifi enabled A380 is provisionally scheduled for (assuming no late swaps).
IME, as a member of the public, usually no more than 24 hours ahead or so ex-LON, via flightradar24.com. You may get a little more time on the inbound flight if you know which outbound flight the aircraft will operate.

If one has access to inside information, my suspicion is that the aircraft allocation is done at about T-72h, as that's when a lot of things seem to happen.
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Old Aug 17, 18, 2:49 pm
  #280  
 
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flying with kid will i have wifi???

hi everyone-leaving this sunday night flight 212 bos to lhr.....anyway to tell if we will have wifi?? my kids will be so bummed if we don't [as will i!]

thanks!
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Old Aug 17, 18, 5:35 pm
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Originally Posted by angsmoth View Post
hi everyone-leaving this sunday night flight 212 bos to lhr.....anyway to tell if we will have wifi?? my kids will be so bummed if we don't [as will i!]

thanks!
I wouldn't hold your breath, you have a zero percent chance of having wifi on that flight currently. BA212 is operated by a Airbus A380 on Sunday, only one A380 has wifi currently and that aircraft will be somewhere between Johannesburg and London on Sunday.

Things can change but it's very unlikely at best.
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Old Aug 24, 18, 11:47 am
  #282  
 
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The whole Viasat v Inmarsat thing got another write-up on Runway Girl Network yesterday. Viasat are saying they'll keep challenging the legality of the EAN, Inmarsat are saying "we remain on track for commercial service launch to passengers later this year."

https://runwaygirlnetwork.com/2018/0...-inmarsat-win/
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Old Aug 24, 18, 12:08 pm
  #283  
 
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Thanks for that link!

we remain on track for commercial service launch to passengers later this year.
*cough* What track might that be - the one that had it "fully operational" in September 2017? The launch in 1H 2018? The launch by July 2018?
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Old Aug 24, 18, 3:18 pm
  #284  
 
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Am I the only person on Earth who is delighted to be in a Wi-Fi-free zone, and not have people's phones beeping the whole time?
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Old Aug 24, 18, 5:48 pm
  #285  
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Originally Posted by chucko View Post
I flew SEA-LHR on G-BYGE. When I checked, the WiFi signal was available, but the Website it takes you to said that Internet access was not yet active. That was early in the flight, and I didn't check later. When we were starting the descent, CC announced that the WiFi would be closing down along with IFE, so maybe they fired it up mid-flight.
itís working fine right now 😀
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