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 Nov 18, 18, 3:57 am
  #361  
 
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Originally Posted by GentleGiant View Post
Has anyone got around the one device situation?

Most other airlines seem to have it purely on the login - seems crazy not to have similar and to clearly restrict is based on MAC address.

In hotels I used to run my own network - no idea if this would work?
Something like this should, in theory, work

HooToo Wireless Travel Router, USB Port, High Performance- TripMate Nano (Not a Hotspot)
Amazon Amazon
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Old Nov 19, 18, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by Schind View Post
There's been an update on the EAN. Testing on BA flights is due to begin in December with full roll-out by summer 2019 although flights to Scandanavia won't have wifi until 2020 as there won't be coverage over the North Sea until then.

We'll see how true this timeline is in due course...

EAN ready for IFE launch with British Airways IFE content from ATWOnline
The lack of coverage over the North Sea bit is weird. This system is supposed to be a hybrid ATG/Satellite system, and gaps like that shouldn't exist. Something is fishy there.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 7:57 am
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That sounds a bit like the satellite backhaul is not ready at all, doesn't it. I've always wondered how Wifi would be affected if there is no ground coverage available, and the North Sea is probably the key area where that is the case in Europe. Surely performance and latency would suddenly go through the roof if it has to fall back to satellite there? Will also be interesting to see whether that will affect some simple cross-channel crossings...

That's also why comparison to US in-flight Wifi with Gogo isn't very appropriate, because the US doesn't really have these huge open bodies of water that planes have to fly over...
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Old Nov 19, 18, 11:16 am
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Originally Posted by Quark999 View Post
That sounds a bit like the satellite backhaul is not ready at all, doesn't it. I've always wondered how Wifi would be affected if there is no ground coverage available, and the North Sea is probably the key area where that is the case in Europe. Surely performance and latency would suddenly go through the roof if it has to fall back to satellite there? Will also be interesting to see whether that will affect some simple cross-channel crossings...

That's also why comparison to US in-flight Wifi with Gogo isn't very appropriate, because the US doesn't really have these huge open bodies of water that planes have to fly over...
I may have mentioned before that I have some responsibility for our in house general aviation, and I can tell you from bitter and incredibly expensive experience that satellite capability on aircraft is being massively oversold by the providers. The capability doesn't meet the hype and its frankly painful to use with very patchy and inconsistent service.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 11:49 am
  #365  
 
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That's why the EAN should only be using satellites when there's no ground coverage, because there's just not enough satellite capacity for all the short haul flights in Europe. I believe it's less of a problem for long haul as there will be far fewer planes in a particular spot beam at any particular time. But it does make me wonder about the "North Sea" - there will be quite a bit of traffic, and it will have to be largely satellite backed? I wonder how different the experience will be - provided it will be working at all at some point...

I have to say though that my experience with Viasat based inflight Wi-fi on SAS was really good - so perhaps Satellite Wi-fi in Europe isn't that impossible either. But I don't think a fleet as big as BA's has deployed Wi-fi yet...
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Old Nov 19, 18, 11:51 am
  #366  
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Originally Posted by CloudGazer View Post
Something like this should, in theory, work

HooToo Wireless Travel Router, USB Port, High Performance- TripMate Nano (Not a Hotspot)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00I00J8DW/
I bought one of these but have not had a chance to try it out yet. Hopefully next week on a Gogo equipped flight.

https://www.gl-inet.com/products/gl-ar300m/
CloudGazer likes this.
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Old Nov 22, 18, 8:03 am
  #367  
 
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G-VIIX returned from Shannon yesterday after WIFI fitting and G-VIIU has went over today for fitting
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Old Nov 28, 18, 4:36 am
  #368  
 
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Anyone had any success with iPass?

I note one comment further up suggesting login credentials don't work, but the iPass app tends to connect to Gogo all over the US quite seamlessly, so hopefully works on BA too.
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Old Nov 28, 18, 6:37 am
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I had wifi as an option on my last flight back from Bangkok (maybe 2 weeks ago), but nobody announced it, no mention of it and when I connected no portal would load up.

Are the planes being fitted with unusable wifi at first? Are crew announcing wifi where it's available?
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Old Nov 28, 18, 6:40 am
  #370  
 
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Originally Posted by Coffeemadman View Post
I had wifi as an option on my last flight back from Bangkok (maybe 2 weeks ago), but nobody announced it, no mention of it and when I connected no portal would load up.

Are the planes being fitted with unusable wifi at first? Are crew announcing wifi where it's available?
There is a 3 class 777 flying around with WiFi fitted but broken, for some reason. I canít remember the reg but crew are told not to mention it in PAs etc for to avoid people trying to connect.
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Old Nov 28, 18, 6:42 am
  #371  
 
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Ah. Chances are I was on that one then. Shame as the IFE is the old, horrible one and I was in WT.
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Old Nov 28, 18, 6:45 am
  #372  
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Generally it isn't announced, in my experience. On one LGW service a crew member walked past my PC and seemed surprised to see I was obviously online, they're not always aware it's on their aircraft either. There are some aircraft with wifi leaflets in with Highlife magazine, and Highlife also mentions it too - there's a full page advert on page 155 on the Blue editions.

A lot of people struggle with the initial stages of login, so it is useful in the day or two before departure, to use the instructions upthread to set up an account whilst on terra firma. Once that's done normally login is fairly easy.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 2:48 am
  #373  
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Originally Posted by Scotflyer80 View Post
G-CIVI - Arrived CWL 21st October for maintainence. WiFi will be fitted while in CWL.
I see that G-CIVI has been back in service since 15 November 2018 - can we take this as confirmed?
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Old Dec 4, 18, 5:11 am
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Originally Posted by GentleGiant View Post
Has anyone got around the one device situation?
Most other airlines seem to have it purely on the login - seems crazy not to have similar and to clearly restrict is based on MAC address.
In hotels I used to run my own network - no idea if this would work?
On AA, both Pacwisp and GoGo, you are limited to one device at a time.

​​​​​Yes, you can work around it with a wifi repeater. I have used a USB-powered one that is also a wired to wireless router for hotels or other situations with cables, so it just runs off the USB power in the aircraft (or a powerbank if you have to). Although there are ways to spot this sort of thing by analysing the traffic flows and I'm sure the operators will get upset if you share out your connection to many people to deny them per-user revenues so don't do that. I've only done this to connect, say, my laptop and phone at the same time for different purposes.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 5:20 am
  #375  
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Originally Posted by flatlander View Post
On AA, both Pacwisp and GoGo, you are limited to one device at a time.

​​​​​Yes, you can work around it with a wifi repeater. I have used a USB-powered one that is also a wired to wireless router for hotels or other situations with cables, so it just runs off the USB power in the aircraft (or a powerbank if you have to). Although there are ways to spot this sort of thing by analysing the traffic flows and I'm sure the operators will get upset if you share out your connection to many people to deny them per-user revenues so don't do that. I've only done this to connect, say, my laptop and phone at the same time for different purposes.
My new phone (Black Friday deal from France) seems to have a wifi bridge - so in theory that should allow me to connect my laptop and phone. Not planning on sharing it around the cabin haha

I am sure on my most recent AA flight we were able to switch devices - maybe that was their Panasonic offering. Also able to switch on Emirates.
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