Qantas has just announced that soon passengers will be able to use three major entertainment providers (Netflix, Foxtel, and Spotify) onboard their aircraft thanks to super fast onboard WIFI. The airline is reporting that the speeds will be ten times faster than what’s currently available which is pretty incredible considering airlines like Jetblue get speeds upwards of 40mb’s.

Qantas already have one 737 fitted with the satellite and the WIFI trial is set to start from late February, a source has told me that it is currently being tested by select onboard cabin crew.

VH-XZB With Wifi Dome (Image – James Lusher)

Per Qantas,

  • Foxtel will offer three days free access to its Foxtel app every time a customer flies, allowing customers to stream live sports, news and TV shows as well as its full range of on-demand content. No sign-up to a subscription is required.
  • Netflix will offer new customers access to the entire Netflix service as part of a 30-day free trial. Existing Netflix members only need to log in to continue watching at no extra charge.
    Spotify will offer a 30 day free trial of its Premium music service, which has no ads, shuffle play and unlimited skips.
  • (Note – both Netflix and Spotify require customers to sign-up to a subscription to access the free trial.

Here is what the whole experience will look like for passengers:

The landing page is similar to what’s available now with real-time flight information, but that has also been upgraded. It now includes things like restaurant recommendations, transport options and even personalised information regarding your frequent flyer account.

The entertainment page is where you’ll be able to access Foxtel, Netflix, and Spotify.

At this stage, only 737 and A330 aircraft operating domestic flights will be able to take advantage of the new entertainment options. However, Qantas is now in talks with the WIFI suppliers to try and extend the new options to its Qantaslink and international aircraft.

This is a fantastic step forward in the space of aircraft wifi and onboard entertainment and I’m excited to see how well it will perform. Wifi is something people have been wanting for quite some time now and many are extremely excited as the airline advances to include even more entertainment options.

Virgin Australia will also be introducing WIFI sometime this year but at this stage, there aren’t any details available.

Images – James Lusher & Qantas