News & Opinions

Start typing to see suggestions or browse Australia

Qantas shelves wi-fi in the sky

December 4, 2012, 3:25 pmAFP

Qantas' trial of in-flight internet access has been shelved due to a lack of interest from passengers

Qantas shelves wi-fi in the sky
Rating:

Qantas' much publicised trial of in-flight internet access has officially been shelved due to a lack of interest, with passengers said to prefer sleep over browsing the web.

Qantas began a trial service in March which gave travellers on Airbus A380s flying to Los Angeles and London in-flight connectivity using their Wi-Fi enabled laptops and other devices.

But it said today that while keen to offer the Wi-Fi service to long-haul passengers, less than five per cent of customers had made use of it and it was discontinued last month.

"The commercial trial found that the customer take-up of the Wi-Fi service was extremely low," a spokesman said.

"Most of our A380 services operate at night and so another dampener on demand was the fact people preferred to sleep than surf the web."

Cost was also likely a factor, with the price ranging from $12.90 to $39.90 for various data packages.

"Naturally, the costs associated with offering a reliable internet connection in-flight are significantly higher than on the ground, particularly when you are flying over vast expanses of ocean and can't connect to ground towers," the spokesman said.

Qantas said customers indicated they would prefer better internet access at airports, so the airline was investing in upgrading Wi-Fi technology across its domestic and international lounge network.

"Right now, our customers are telling us that access to the internet on the ground is more important than in the air," the spokesman said.

"We will continue to evaluate demand for Wi-Fi options onboard."

Qantas passengers will still be able to send and receive text messages and make telephone calls in-flight on A380s, selected B747s and A330 aircraft.

What would you prefer? Wi-fi or sleep?

Recent Stories


Summer Getaway: The best of Wooli
The 13 most overrated tourist traps - allegedly

Show:
Newest First
Oldest First
Top Rated
Most Replies

14 Comments

  1. Steve06:39am Wednesday 05th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    At the end of the day it's like getting wifi at a hotel, the price doesn't reflect the cost of providing the service. A rip off will always be a rip off.

    Reply
  2. Rose05:42am Wednesday 05th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    It it's free yes but if not then am going to sleep lol.

    Reply
  3. The Skud03:09am Wednesday 05th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Simple really, you are going to fly, so you will be out of wi-fi contact ... big deal! You plan ahead, schedule stuff around contact times, like any other time you know contact is not available. It is that easy, so don't freak out.

    Reply
  4. Robert02:57am Wednesday 05th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Yet another spin. When do these non-existent customer surveys occur? Of course people want Internet on long haul flights, but we refuse to pay exorbitant prices.

    Reply
  5. Kiddo12:14am Wednesday 05th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I flew from LAX to Melbourne Australia, I really didnt care to surf the web. Just had a couple of drinks and I slept the 20 plus hour flight.

    Reply
  6. Gobbledygook12:03am Wednesday 05th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    australia = ripoff (as per usual)

    Reply
  7. turbo10:20pm Tuesday 04th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Not so far to go for the Cloud...right?

    Reply
  8. Sohail07:51pm Tuesday 04th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    WI Fi on the plane is a very good idea, but the cost is only the issue, rather you include the charge on the ticket, so we can try and see how the speed is...

    Reply
  9. ozzilady06:51pm Tuesday 04th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Wi-fi in the sky? First I've heard of it... not interested anyway... jus gimme a pillow & a good book!!!

    Reply
  10. Samuel06:18pm Tuesday 04th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Cost and speed would have been the most likely, rather than "also likely a factor".. Nice try at putting trying to shift the blame onto the customers, Qantas. Shame nobody really buys that rot. Face it. You charged too much - "lack of interest" is baloney.

    Reply