Qantas has been conducting experiments with in-flight Wi-Fi for some time, but we’re yet to see any ongoing services. And now it seems clear that we won’t be getting any on flights to the US, with Qantas abandoning its trial of in-flight Wi-Fi on A380 services.
Picture by Jimmy Harris
Australian Business Traveller reports that the nine-month long A380 Wi-Fi trial has been abandoned owing to a lack of usage. One big factor there? On long-haul flights, passengers want to sleep. The fact the trial was largely restricted to business and first customers may have been a factor there; you’re more likely to rest in those seats than crammed into economy. A380 services from Qantas are also biased towards overnight travel, unlike many of its regional Asian services which offer day travel options.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce hasn’t shown much enthusiasm for in-flight Wi-Fi, confirming that it won’t happen earlier than 2013 either domestically or internationally. That said, the rollout of Wi-Fi based iPad entertainment services on domestic flights does provide a potential means of extending the service again in the future. I’d love Internet access on longer-haul domestic flights.