Qantas Switches Off Wifi, In-Flight Entertainment

Qantas Switches Off Wifi, In-Flight Entertainment
Qantas has switched off in-flight entertainment due to COVID-19.

Qantas is no longer offering in-flight entertainment or wifi on board its domestic and international flights, from today.

According to AFF member milehighclub, these measures have been implemented to cut costs at a time where airlines globally are fighting for survival.

According to AFF member dylarr, it could cost Qantas more than $200,000 per month, per aircraft, to offer high-speed wifi on board its flights. (However, Qantas recoups some of these costs by collecting data from passengers using the wifi service.)

Qantas, and other airlines, also have to pay licensing fees for in-flight entertainment content. So eliminating these services are two sensible ways the airline can reduce costs at a time of severely reduced demand for air travel. Most of the airline’s planes are currently grounded.

Qantas already stopped serving in-flight meals last Friday. Economy class passengers on domestic Qantas flights now receive a refreshment item, while Business passengers are served a snack box and a bottle of water. These measures are temporary, but no end date has yet been announced. They will be in place until at least May 2020.

Virgin Australia has similarly stopped serving in-flight snacks in Economy class, but food & drinks are still available for sale on Virgin flights. Virgin continues serving meals in Business class.

Qantas has also temporarily removed hot towels and in-flight magazines for health and safety reasons.

Qantas has offered free wifi on most domestic flights since it began rolling out the service in 2017. Under normal circumstances, Virgin Australia also offers free wifi on most flights.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Changes to inflight service and offerings

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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]