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Stay plugged in on Virgin Australia to America

Stay plugged in on Virgin Australia to America

Virgin is rolling out internet access on its 777-300ER’s as soon as December 2017, on flights to the USA serviced by their two newly upgraded aircraft.

What we do know

It will be gradually rolled out as the upgraded planes arrive, with the expectation that all routes out of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisvegas will be serviced by May 2018. It will cover all their flights to LAX.

The service is being provided by GoGo – not without controversy or other problems. You might like to ready Gizmodo’s summary of in-flight internet providers. As they conclude ‘All airline wifi kinda sucks’, however, the article is from 2015 – and things move quickly with this technology.

Initially, the service will be free – for the first few weeks – probably December 2017 – while they are trying it out

However, I just found this comment from a user in October 2017:

Gogo is absolutely horrible. I keep trying and trying to give it a chance, but it is abhorrently slow even just to check email and surf the web. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!!

[Tripadvisor comment, TCH400, 03 October 2017]

When is Virgin Australia going to roll out this service domestically? By the end of 2018 apparently – with the A330’s (mostly on Asia routes) following in 2019.

What we don’t know

The cost – that won’t be advised until mid December.

The speed? We don’t know. Aust Business Traveller has reported speeds of 15 to 20 Mbps on domestic 737 flights (Virgin has one domestic plane equipped with the service for trial). That’s about the speed of the shitty ADSL2+ internet I get here in the offices of 2PAXfly in beautiful downtown inner-west Sydney.

When is Virgin Australia going to roll out this service domestically? By the end of 2018 apparently. However they are promising free access for a ‘base’ (probably code for un-usable) access.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, what is Qantas doing?

Qantas seems to be adopting a contrary approach. Now that would be a novelty. They are concentrating on their domestic rollout – expected to be complete late in 2018. You might as well throw darts at a dartboard, as guess what their plan is internationally.

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