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 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 2020. Australian 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