Qantas is turning domestic flights into an opportunity to catch up on favourite TV shows, do a spot of online shopping or listen to a just-released album.
Free, super-fast wi-fi for all customers is coming to Qantas domestic flights and bringing with it a slew of streaming entertainment options – and the possibility of live-tweeting your flight, taking Instagram selfies with flight attendants or scoping out lurking Pokémon mid-flight.
Qantas’s inflight wi-fi is being switched on for its inaugural domestic flight by the end of March. The rest of Qantas’s fleet of domestic aircraft will become wi-fi-enabled from mid-2017.
The wi-fi is possible through the nbn Sky Muster satellite service and its faster connection speeds – much quicker than older satellite technology most airlines around the world use – that make streaming possible.
Thanks to this capability, Netflix, Stan, Spotify and Foxtel will make everyday flights movie marathons, sports fests and musical jamborees by offering their services to Qantas customers on wi-fi-enabled planes for free.
Foxtel will offer three days free access to its app every time a Qantas customer flies; Netflix will offer new customers a one-off free 30-day trial; and Spotify, likewise, will offer a free 30-day trial of its Premium service which allows customers to stream music ad-free.
When you log-in to the Qantas wi-fi on your device you’ll be greeted by a landing page with links to access Foxtel, Netflix and Spotify, plus flight data, hotel, restaurant and transport options as well as weather and personalised information linked to your destination and itinerary.
Wifi can also help pilots avoid turbulence with real-time weather information and send information generated by the plane engines to engineers on the ground.
Eventually, Qantas plans to extend wi-fi to its international and QantasLink aircraft, which just could make the prospect of a long-haul flight to London rather appealing.
“We know that email, online shopping and general web browsing will be popular uses when we switch on wi-fi, but what a lot of people relish about flying is being able to catch up on their favourite TV shows or watch movies they didn’t get to see at the cinema,” says Qantas group executive of brand, marketing and corporate affairs Olivia Wirth.
“The usage data from the collection of albums we already have on our aircraft shows that music is a great way for passengers to relax as they watch the world fly by. Spotify will open this up so you can listen to virtually any song you like.”