With Qantas delaying their deployment of in-flight WiFi, Virgin has entered the fray. A new deal between Virgin Australia and Optus will see a three-month customer trial of Gogo’s 2Ku technology on a single Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Gogo is an established player in the aircraft internet business and has an established reputation for delivering the technology. In contrast, Qantas was leaning on the Skymuster satellite service that is part of the NBN.
As a regular flyer, I’d be happy to have Internet access, if only to chip away at a few emails and to easily access the cloud services I rely on for work. But I hope this isn’t the start of people conducting video-conferences on planes.
While the Virgin Australia and Optus deal is commencing a trial, there’s no worked yet on pricing. I doubt I’d pay more that $5 for access, and I doubt I’d bother for a short flight like MEL-SYD. But for a longer flight or an international leg, I’d probably spring for some access.
Would Internet access on a flight be a winner for you? Would it be a deciding factor when choosing flights?