British Airways has steadily expanded its onboard Wi-Fi service, from short domestic flights within Europe to long-distance international routes. Though somewhat late to the game, British Airways now has at least 90 per cent of its fleets modified with onboard Wi-Fi.
British Airways (BA) is located in London and bears the flag of the United Kingdom. It is the largest airline in the United Kingdom in terms of passenger lift, as reported on Statista.
It kicked-started its onboard Wi-Fi named .air in 2016. Using satellite communications, they rebuilt their aircraft at an impressive pace. In attribution to their late timing, they ended up with the newest technology, second-generation, compared to their counterparts who started with the feature earlier.
Network Provider Of Onboard Wi-Fi For British Airways
Gogo, an in-flight internet company, provides onboard Wi-Fi on British Airways. It operates its modernized 2Ku satellite technology in supplying broadband internet service for many other airlines.
Aeroplanes Equipped With Onboard Wi-Fi On British Airways
Both short-distance and long-distance aircraft are slated for upgrades to include onboard Wi-Fi. Meanwhile, because some British Airways planes will be retired, not all of them will have onboard Wi-Fi.
Presently, aircraft with onboard Wi-Fi are:
- A350-1000 – All equipped (6 airplanes)
- A380 – All outfitted (12 fleets)
- 777-200ER – All equipped (43 planes)
- 777-300ER – All outfitted(12 aircraft)
- 787-8 – 6/12 airplane installed (G-ZBJE, G-ZBJF, G-ZBJG, G-ZBJH, G-ZBJK, G-ZBJM)
- G-ZBJI – Arrived CWL 22 July
- 787-9 – 14/18 aircraft fitted (G-ZBKA, G-ZBKB, G-ZBKC, G-ZBKD, G-ZBKG, G-ZBKH, G-ZBKI, G-ZBKJ, G-ZBKK, G-ZBKL, G-ZBKM, G-ZBKN, G-ZBKO, G-ZBKP)
- 787-10 – All fitted (2 aircraft)
Short-distance aeroplanes, excluding those about to be phased out, were mainly outfitted with Wi-Fi. They include:
- A319 – 12/35 Aircraft (no Wi-Fi fittings for 23 aircraft).
- A320 – 61/67 Aircraft
- A320neo – All fitted (12 aircraft)
- A321 – 15/18 Aircraft
- A321neo – All fitted (10 fleets)
Airlines Without Onboard Wi-Fi On British Airways
Long-distance aircraft without Wi-Fi service:
- 787-8 (G-ZBJA, G-ZBJB, G-ZBJC, G-ZBJD, G-ZBJJ)
- 787-9 (G-ZBKE, G-ZBKF, G-ZBKR, G-ZBKS)
Short-distance aircraft without Wi-Fi service:
- A319 – 23 Aircraft
Features Of British Airways Wi-Fi
Notable features of the British Airways Wi-Fi:
- The Wi-Fi is not automatically accessible; instead, it is only available when a flight is above 10,000 feet, that is, about 10 minutes after departure and before touchdown.
- You can only connect one device at a time per flight once you pay for your Wi-Fi package. In other words, switching between devices necessitates a new purchase of a different device.
- You can purchase Wi-Fi as a guest by entering your name and payment information on the .air account. Alternatively, you can register an account (this saves your email and payment details for future transactions).
- Except for first-class passengers on long-distance Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft, British Airways Wi-Fi is not free.
- You can select to pay either in USD or in Pounds (GBP), though prices might vary due to conversion.
- It supports the following actions:
- Browsing the internet
- Sending and receiving emails
- Direct messaging
- Streaming movies, music videos, and films
- Interestingly, British Airways Wi-Fi also supports Netflix. You can catch up or enjoy new Netflix series on your gadgets during flights depending on the Wi-Fi package purchased.
- However, it does not support onboard phone calls via personal network providers. Also, calls through media such as FaceTime, Skype, and Whatsapp are not supported.
- Supported devices include all Wi-Fi compatible gadgets running current versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, and Internet Explorer.
Wi-Fi Speed On British Airways
Because the speed distribution is between all people on board, it is variable. Consequently, it is either fast or slow based on the number of persons on a particular flight.
It is also affected by satellite switches, flying away from covered areas or over restriction zones on long-distance flights, and travelling over the waters on short-distance flights outside Europe.
Your purchased Wi-Fi package also determines the speed since the ‘Stream’ mode is faster than the ‘Browse’ mode.
Steps To Access Onboard Wi-Fi On British Airways
If you are fortunate to travel on an aircraft with Wi-Fi service, here are steps to connect to Wi-Fi:
- Decide which device to use as you can not switch devices on the same flight.
- Switch your device to ‘airplane mode’ once the crew announces the altitude to be over 10,000 feet.
- Enable device Wi-Fi and connect to the ‘BAWi-Fi’ network.
- Go to your browser to access the .air website automatically. Alternatively, you can type in ‘shop.ba.com’ on your browser to register or sign in.
- Decide on the Wi-Fi package of your choice and then purchase.
Cost Of British Airways Wi-Fi
On long-distance flights with Wi-Fi except for A350 and787-10, charges are time-based rather than data usage. They have two purchasing options: Browse and Stream.
The current pricing is as follows:
|Full flight||£14.99||Up to £23.99 depending on the route|
For short-distance aircraft, the pricing depends on the distance travelled. The current pricing is:
- Messaging: £1.99 or £2.99 depending on flight distance.
- Browse & Stream (one hour):£4.99
- Browse & Stream (whole flight):£4.99 to £9.99 depending on the distance
Because the paid time plans run concurrently and cannot be interrupted, Wi-Fi timing runs continuously even if the user disconnects.
Also, keep in mind that a whole flight refers to a single flight leg and that current rates and services may vary over time.
British Airways Wi-Fi Recompensation
If you had issues connecting to Wi-Fi on board after your purchase, you could request a refund using these steps;
- Visit ba.com/helpme for any billing inquiries, refunds, or receipt requests.
- Click on Wi-Fi refunds to view the complaints and claims portal
- Follow the link to claim a Wi-Fi refund or request a receipt.
However, it is advisable to allow up to 72 hours to hear from the customer care team.
Other In-flight Entertainment On British Airways
British Airways offers a variety of options for in-flight entertainment. You can connect to the in-flight entertainment system to watch updated movies, browse through their digital newspapers and lifestyle magazines or charge your devices.
Optionally, one can watch movies using the onboard screens with personal headphones.
Also, they have a kiddies channel on the entertainment system for children’s pleasure during flights.
All of these alternatives, as well as others, are available on their entertainment page.
Commonly Asked Questions
Does British Airways Offer Wi-Fi Services Onboard?
Yes. At least 90 per cent of its aircraft have onboard Wi-Fi.
Is The Internet Wi-Fi Connection Secured?
The Wi-Fi connection is as secure as other on-ground public Wi-Fi. It supports VPN and HTTPS websites.
Does British Airways Offer Free Wi-Fi?
No. The Wi-Fi service is purchased onboard. However, the service is free for first-class passengers travelling on Wi-Fi-enabled long-distance aircraft.
Despite the late start, British Airways worked at an impressive pace to satisfy customers with high-speed Wi-Fi.
They also offer reasonable prices based on timing rather than data usage, though it is currently free for first-class passengers travelling on Wi-Fi-enabled long-distance flights.
Hopefully, Wi-Fi would be accessible in all their fleets for all passengers to enjoy at a reasonable price.
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