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 Dec 19, 18, 8:28 am
  #391  
 
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Originally Posted by Schind View Post
No - it's not as good as it gets. There are a few reviews online. One reviewer was able to stream Youtube and Netflix on the browse package:-

"I experienced a stable and snappy connection under the Browse plan for the remainder of the flight.
I had no trouble browsing and tweeting, and surprisingly I was still able to stream to a degree. Netflix and YouTube seemed to work without issue on this plan, potentially negating the need to buy up to the Stream plan."

https://runwaygirlnetwork.com/2018/1...ns-advantages/
Hi, that's my article. It is weird, but that was my experience. I flew again a few weeks later and used only the Browse plan and had no issues at all doing "browsy" things. This stuff is pretty hit or miss, but the throttled speeds of the browse plan are high enough to allow for low resolution streaming.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 8:41 am
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Originally Posted by Frequentflyer99 View Post

I also discovered that Whatsapp calling works on my tethered phone (amazing really given how poor the wifi is), but I made the mistake of trying this out up in the front galley where the Captain was out for a break, and he told me that BA does not allow phoning on board - although he was unable to identify the source of this rule (CAA, BA, or other). In any event, it was all very amiable and he was as surprised as I was, that I had managed to get it working. Perhaps, on balance, not such a good thing that it does unless the rule (which the cabin crew appeared to know nothing about) is strictly enforced when people are seated ....
I have heard this announced before take off on flights with Wi-Fi, so can only assume it is a solid rule from somewhere.
I can only hope it is extremely strictly enforced, as aircraft are about the only place left on Earth where I can escape people using their phones.
Otherwise the entire DYKWIA thread will be brimming with "but I'm on an important business call" stories.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 8:44 am
  #393  
 
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Originally Posted by yankees368 View Post
Hi, that's my article. It is weird, but that was my experience. I flew again a few weeks later and used only the Browse plan and had no issues at all doing "browsy" things. This stuff is pretty hit or miss, but the throttled speeds of the browse plan are high enough to allow for low resolution streaming.
Perhaps I should have updated the thread with my own later experience on Monday. Speeds got better (I did not actually check the precise speed again) but rather patchy in some areas. I was on the basic e-mail package but got a reasonable connection to Sky News, on which I was able to watch part of the Brexit debate in the HoC live and without interruptions. Overall moderately impressed, but still some way to go to justify charging 50% more for 8 hrs slow connection, than I pay for a month's fast broadband at home !.

Also, there was no announcement that the service was operative and I only knew to check thanks to this thread. Presumably once there is a mass take up, the service will really suffer.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 9:59 am
  #394  
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Getting 5.6 down 2.5 up on the streaming service.

Sadly going offline now as my power socket is not working and so I can't power my laptop. So a waste of my payment Oh well.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 11:04 am
  #395  
 
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Originally Posted by estate View Post
The last update said G-CIVH was being fitted in CWL. I see it's back flying now - does this mean it's fitted? If so, only 3 super-hi-J 747s to go.
Thundered past me earlier off 27R sporting the Wifi antenna as BA115 to JFK, I make it only G-CIVF/G of the 18 86J aircraft that don't have connectivity.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 7:14 am
  #396  
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Coming live from G-VIID over Kilkenny

Its a very good “browse” connection so far. I felt streaming packages are bit expensive!


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Old Dec 20, 18, 1:32 pm
  #397  
 
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Originally Posted by skipness1E View Post
Thundered past me earlier off 27R sporting the Wifi antenna as BA115 to JFK, I make it only G-CIVF/G of the 18 86J aircraft that don't have connectivity.
CIVG won't be getting it as it's being retired next year (subject to the ever changing whims of whoever decides these things). BA have changed their wi-fi page in the last couple of days - it used to list the aircraft that had been done and there were only 17 747s due to be fitted in total. CIVF is in Cardiff now so, when that comes back, that's yer lot for this type. Now, when are the 787s starting?????
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Old Jan 1, 19, 6:22 am
  #398  
 
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As the spreadsheet linked to in the main post hasn't been updated since October I've done some maths.
This is the state of the LH aircraft as of 1st Jan 2019.

A318 - 0 fitted out of 1 (I know this is a special case)
A380 - 4 out of 12 (33.33%)
B747 - 17 out of 35 (48.57%). I've included CIVF as fitted. It should be returning from CWL any day now. I believe all the 747s that are due to get wifi now have it.
B777-200 - 0 out of 3. Probably won't be getting it due to retirement in 2020.
B777-200ER - 34 out of 43 (79.07%)
B777-300ER - 7 out of 12 (58.30%)
B787-8 - 0 out of 12
B787-9 - 0 out of 18

Total - 62 out of 136 (45.59%)

The remaining 777s that aren't being retired should be done this year, hopefully the 787s will start coming online in 2019 and the A350s due for delivery should(!) be factory fitted.

As for short/medium haul - **shrugs**
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Old Jan 1, 19, 11:30 am
  #399  
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Heard last week that there 10 aircraft ( x A319, 1 x A321 and 8 x A320’s) already flying with there WIFI system activated for a few weeks now to allow BA and immersat to carry out final system testing. A official launch date is yet to be announced, however it is rumoured by the end of January.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 1:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Schind View Post
It was updated a month or so ago. XLEI came out of maintenance on October 20th so it's definitely been updated since then. It doesn't look like any 787s have been fitted yet.
As an aside - XLEA is in Manila maintenance now. It should be returning very soon so will be the next A380 on the list.
WiFi on G-XLEA confirmed
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Old Jan 8, 19, 1:28 pm
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Today’s flight on G-VIIB LHR to YYZ - no WiFi.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 2:57 pm
  #402  
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Originally Posted by HighwayToHEL View Post
Today’s flight on G-VIIB LHR to YYZ - no WiFi.
Was there no signal offered at all? Or was the signal there and it didn't connect?
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Old Jan 8, 19, 2:59 pm
  #403  
 
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Nothing was mentioned by the crew and no networks showed up for the whole flight - apart from "Sarah's iPhone" for the first half an hour

I had to watch films and drink wine instead of working.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 3:03 pm
  #404  
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Originally Posted by HighwayToHEL View Post
I had to watch films and drink wine instead of working.
Tragic.

But for the Wifi I can't offer an explanation for that, it is supposed to come on at 10,000 feet automatically - the crew don't need to do anything - and even if you were over that bit of Greenland where the connectivity drops, the beacon is still active. Generally the crew don't mention wifi for some reason. I remember giving one CSM the shock of her life when showing her live BBC news of an aviation incident.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 3:42 pm
  #405  
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I wondered why WiFi wasn’t mentioned on a recent JFK flight. Had it not been for FT I would have never known. There wasn’t mention anywhere. Is there a reason for the lack of mention? I don’t particularly mind, as a crowded WiFi network is never enjoyable but I thought BA would want to capitalise on the revenue from the WiFi packages by announcing it.

Last edited by rockflyertalk; Jan 10, 19 at 9:21 am
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