Saturday, February 18, 2017

Wifi On Flights Out Of Australia?

A recent article (Here’s when you will be able to access free Wi-Fi on planes), over at the New Daily site examined the introduction of WiFi on airlines servicing the Australian flying public.

As someone who has made numerous international trips since 2008, I know how frustrating it can be to feel like you are cut off from the rest of the world while flying at 30,000 feet.

While it can be a positive experience to be able to ignore the constant demands of your smartphone or tablet device, and spend anywhere from two to 24 hours watching inflight movies, many travellers do need to be in contact, even if it is intermittent contact, with friends, family or their work colleagues.

Happily, things are starting to change, albeit slowly, and the complete disconnect from the online world during long-haul flights looks like it will soon be a thing of the past for Australian travellers, with the New Daily reporting that "...several local airlines [are] planning to roll out in-flight Wi-Fi."

This image shows the current state of WiFi availability with some of the major airlines servicing the Australian market. It would appear that Qantas is going to offer free WiFi to their passengers, although the article does not mention whether there will be restrictions on the amount of data that can be used by passengers.

If it is anything like the miniscule 10MB limit that Emirates are currently offering, you might as well leave your mobile devices turned off! On the other hand, if Qantas is going to offer free unlimited Wifi to all passengers, then I for one will be more than happy to make that airline my international carrier of choice.

According to the article, "Qantas plans to have the technology installed by late February, and Virgin Airlines is expected to follow suit later in the year."

I can't see the budget airlines, Jetstar and Tigerair, offering free Wifi anytime soon, let alone offering the service at all, but I live in hope.

So, what do you think, dear reader; can you live without a constant stream of tweets, Facebook updates, and Instagram uploads while flying to your next holiday destination, or are you, like me, so addicted to your mobile device that you begin to experience withdrawal symptoms two hours into your flight? Your comments await...

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