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 Oct 8, 18, 12:12 pm
  #316  
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Originally Posted by ant_west View Post
To answer my own post - pricing for BA15/16 is for the whole flight (ie both sectors) so if you buy on the flight LHR-SIN it is valid through to arrival in SYD. I bought the 'fast' option for the flight and found it very sporadic - it was ok to be able to download/send emails mostly in the background but I don't think you could stream video over it!
I've been streaming videos on my current flight without incident, apart from the known blank spot between mid Greenland and north Hudson Bay.
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Old Oct 10, 18, 11:34 pm
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I'm currently on BA182 JFK-LHR G-YMMK. WIFI is working just fine!
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Old Oct 12, 18, 3:38 am
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I flew back form BOS yesterday on VIIH and the wifi was excellent, reliable and fairly fast. The one thing that does annoy me about the service is the inability to swap devices, something that is available on AA. I usually spend only a portion of the flight working on my laptop and so it would be nice to be able to use my laptop some of the time, my phone/ipad the other times. On AA you can only use a single device at once but you can sign out of one and log into another.
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Old Oct 12, 18, 5:44 am
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Originally Posted by Joely View Post
I flew back form BOS yesterday on VIIH and the wifi was excellent, reliable and fairly fast. The one thing that does annoy me about the service is the inability to swap devices, something that is available on AA. I usually spend only a portion of the flight working on my laptop and so it would be nice to be able to use my laptop some of the time, my phone/ipad the other times. On AA you can only use a single device at once but you can sign out of one and log into another.
My approach is always to sign on with my phone and then do either USB or Bluetooth network sharing to laptop and tablet.

(And just found out quite a few new phones have wifi repeater capability...)
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Last edited by gnomeza; Oct 12, 18 at 5:47 am Reason: more info
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Old Oct 12, 18, 5:37 pm
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There's a list of enabled planes on the BA website now.... seems a lot longer than that on the wiki.
Has something changed recently?

​​​​​​https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/entertainment/wifi-on-board
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Old Oct 12, 18, 8:07 pm
  #321  
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Well spotted, the list currently showing is
.Wi-Fi enabled aircraft

Show all Hide all
Aircraft type: 747-400
Registration
G-BYGA
G-BYGB
G-BYGC
G-BYGD
G-BYGE
G-BYGF
G-BYGG
G-CIVR
G-CIVS
G-CIVV
G-CIVW
G-CIVX
G-CIVY
G-CIVZ
Aircraft type: 777-200
Registration
G-RAES
G-VIIA
G-VIIC
G-VIID
G-VIIE
G-VIIF
G-VIIG
G-VIIH
G-VIIJ
G-VIIL
G-VIIM
G-VIIS
G-VIIY
G-YMMB
G-YMMD
G-YMME
G-YMMF
G-YMMJ
G-YMMK
G-YMML
G-YMMN
G-YMMO
G-YMMP
G-YMMS
G-YMMT
G-YMMU
Aircraft type: 777-300
Registration
G-STBA
G-STBB
G-STBD
G-STBE
G-STBG
G-STBL
Aircraft type: A380
Registration
G-XLEG
G-XLEH
It may be worth holding off changing the wiki, until we get some clarity for the differences.

The URL I used is slightly different:
https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb.../wifi-on-board
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Old Oct 13, 18, 4:06 am
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Originally Posted by blaknail View Post
There's a list of enabled planes on the BA website now.... seems a lot longer than that on the wiki.
Has something changed recently?

​​​​​​https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb.../wifi-on-board
I think it's the way the wiki is written now. There are only a couple of differences but, for instance, the wiki says BYGA-G instead of listing each aircraft separately.

I've asked elsewhere on the forum but there's a chance BA have done all the 747s that are going to get fitted. Globaliser has a post on the 747 retirements that has a neat cut off line for wifi enabled planes based on flight hours. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/27571616-post1689.html
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Old Oct 13, 18, 1:50 pm
  #323  
 
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I am on BA0007 G-STBE. I purchased the basic service for the duration of the flight - it was just bearable (approx 1 MB down) until it was completely unavailable for 3 hours. It then came back and after a few minutes it kicked me out for good. I had to purchase 1 hour of "high speed" (again 1-2 MB so not worth it) and requested a refund for the first purchase. Not sure why it was much slower than what other members have experienced so far. Perhaps satellite coverage is not great across Russia/Asia?
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Old Oct 13, 18, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Schind View Post
I think it's the way the wiki is written now. There are only a couple of differences but, for instance, the wiki says BYGA-G instead of listing each aircraft separately.

I've asked elsewhere on the forum but there's a chance BA have done all the 747s that are going to get fitted. Globaliser has a post on the 747 retirements that has a neat cut off line for wifi enabled planes based on flight hours. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/27571616-post1689.html
So they're going to leave G-CIVF-I as hi-J "bogey planes" flying the most premium routes with no WiFi until 2021?
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Old Oct 13, 18, 3:28 pm
  #325  
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Originally Posted by Yannisb View Post
Perhaps satellite coverage is not great across Russia/Asia?
We could probably do with some data points on this. This is the Gogo2Ku coverage map, from their website:

Having done a few tests on this - the BA Shop website indicates when the wifi signal is lost, I've found that while reception to East Coast USA/Canada is maintained, there are blank spots over Greenland and Northern Canada - which affects services to/from the West Coast USA/Canada. From what I can make out, if you are at the top of the blue area, the signal isn't strong enough to be viable and the aircraft needs to move some way inside the blue box. So on my recent LGW-OAK service the service was knocked out from mid Greenland until we dropped down to 66 N in Nunavut. Roughly half way between Gjoa Haven and Baker Lake.
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Old Oct 13, 18, 4:46 pm
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Not 1000% on my geography but that seems like a pretty huge blank spot in what I assume is Afghanistan and perhaps parts of Pakistan? This is a political reason for lack of coverage I assume rather than geographical?
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Old Oct 13, 18, 4:52 pm
  #327  
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Otherwise known as Iran. So there are technology sanctions in place there.
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Old Oct 13, 18, 4:56 pm
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Ah okay. That would make sense. I guess Iran is bigger than the WiFi black spot but the edges get in from coverage elsewhere?
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Old Oct 13, 18, 4:58 pm
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Lack of satellites allowed in the area I suppose? Totally guessing. Absolutely no insight to offer
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Old Oct 14, 18, 6:37 am
  #330  
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Originally Posted by alexwuk View Post
Originally Posted by Schind View Post
I've asked elsewhere on the forum but there's a chance BA have done all the 747s that are going to get fitted. Globaliser has a post on the 747 retirements that has a neat cut off line for wifi enabled planes based on flight hours. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/27571616-post1689.html
So they're going to leave G-CIVF-I as hi-J "bogey planes" flying the most premium routes with no WiFi until 2021?
I think we will have to wait and see. For example, do we actually know one way or the other whether G-CIVO has had wifi fitted during the recent refresh work? It would have been an opportunity to do it, but my suspicion is that at present we simply don't know one way or the other whether it's been done. As the aircraft's first sortie is for Dreamflight (currently under way), I suspect that many of the passengers currently have other things on their minds than to post the aircraft's wifi status on FT.
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