Qantas Brings Back In-Flight Entertainment

Qantas 737 wifi
Free wifi and in-flight entertainment is now available again on most Qantas flights. Photo: Qantas.

In-flight entertainment is back on most Qantas domestic flights and, from next Monday, all trans-Tasman flights.

After being switched off for a year, Qantas in-flight entertainment has been progressively rolled back out since the start of April 2021. By now, it should already be available on all aircraft where in-flight entertainment is normally offered.

Qantas offers seatback in-flight entertainment (known as Audio Visual On Demand, or AVOD) on all Airbus A330-300, some Airbus A330-200 and some Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Qantas passengers on other A330-200, 737-800 and Boeing 717 aircraft have access to streaming in-flight entertainment to their own devices via the Qantas Entertainment App.

Qantas A330 ipad IFE
Qantas offers streaming entertainment on selected A330, 737 and 717 flights. Photo: Matt Graham.

Qantas already brought back free in-flight wifi many months ago, but in-flight entertainment has taken much longer to return.

Qantas in-flight entertainment had been switched off since 3 April 2020Australian Frequent Flyer understands that this decision was made to save money on content licensing fees at a time when few people were travelling anyway and the airline needed to cut costs to survive.

Over the past year, in-flight entertainment content on Qantas flights has been restricted to the moving in-flight map. There have been a few anecdotal reports of other in-flight entertainment content being available occasionally in the meantime… but this was only in rare instances where the crew forgot to disable the in-flight entertainment system – something that needed to be manually done at the beginning of each flight.

Wi-fi is not available on Qantas trans-Tasman flights, so in-flight entertainment will be a particularly welcome addition for customers on any of Qantas’ 14 daily return trans-Tasman flights commencing next Monday.

In-flight entertainment is not available on QantasLink Dash 8 services. And the Qantas website says that the inflight entertainment service remains “temporarily paused” on international flights, except for trans-Tasman routes.

The Qantas in-flight magazine is still not yet back in aircraft seat pockets, but Qantas has surprisingly continued producing a monthly magazine throughout the entire COVID-19 period. As well as sending copies in the mail to frequent flyers, Qantas is making copies of its magazine available in some airport lounges. You can also read a digital version of the free magazine on the Qantas Travel Insider website.

Meanwhile, Virgin Australia has continued to offer in-flight streaming entertainment on its Boeing 737 flights throughout the pandemic. But it’s not yet clear whether Virgin will bring back in-flight wifi, and if so, whether customers will have to pay to use it. Rex Airlines has neither wifi nor in-flight entertainment (other than a magazine) on any of its domestic or regional flights.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Qantas reintroduces entertainment

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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]