Qantas will soon launch free in-flight wifi on domestic flights! The announcement that high-speed internet will soon be available on Qantas’ Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 aircraft has been welcomed by our members.

Would be great to be able to watch Netflix on my flights on the Golden Triangle as I usually exhaust everything I’m interested in watching on Q pretty quickly.

It’s a significant step-up from the current “Q-Streaming” arrangement. At present, customers on refurbished Boeing 737 aircraft can stream a limited selection of in-flight entertainment to their own device. On Boeing 717 and domestic-configured Airbus A330 aircraft, content can be streamed to a Qantas-supplied iPad.

The Qantas in-flight wifi will tap into the National Broadband Network. As such, it will initially be available only when flying over Australian airspace. Qantas claims that the wifi connection will be strong enough to stream live TV or Netflix. But with potentially hundreds of passengers accessing the internet on any given flight, some members are sceptical.

It would be very surprising if there was sufficient bandwidth to video stream, especially when you are looking at one maybe two satellite receivers onboard serving 150+ customers. Sure everyone won’t use it initially, but once it becomes common across the fleet I can’t imagine streaming will be possible. Happy to be proven wrong however, and the new NBN satellite is pretty impressive.

Qantas will be the first of the Australian airlines to offer on-board wifi, pipping rival Virgin Australia at the post.

While dozens of international airlines already offer in-flight internet, most of these airlines do charge a small premium to use it. Qantas will be one of just a small handful of airlines to offer the service for free to all passengers.

Although a trial won’t begin until late 2016, with the full roll-out taking place in 2017, some members have already started thinking about the new opportunities to keep entertained at 35,000 feet…

With 15MB one can browse AFF for 30-40 minutes quite easily.

This announcement came as the airline announced a bumper half-year profit of $921 million for the 2015-16 financial year. As part of the announcement, Qantas also spruiked plans to build a new lounge in London Heathrow Airport. The new Qantas lounge in Heathrow’s Terminal 3 will open at the beginning of next year.

Join the in-flight internet discussion HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]