I'm currently walking through the steps of double checking my itinerary and making sure everything is in order for my upcoming flights. My flight to South Africa will be on board a British Airways 747-400, an aircraft I've been looking forward to flying ever since my Qantas flight was swapped to an A380 in 2014. It's one of the few airplanes I've never flown on.
While going through my list of flights, and it's not a short list, I remembered reading about British Airways trialing WiFi on board a single 747 only 1-2 years ago. At the time you were lucky if you boarded this specific aircraft as British Airways literally had no other long haul planes with WiFi... I know, a tad bit surprising for an airline in the modern age.
Deciding to look more into this, I went in search of what is currently offered. This shouldn't surprise any of you when I say that British Airways has not added WiFi to any of their longhaul planes yet... but it's coming soon... well in 2017.
While the trial seems to have shown BA that it is valuable to have WiFi on board, they decided to switch to the Gogo inflight system over the provider that BA used during the trial period. The airline will be equipping their entire longhaul fleet, as well as some Air Lingus and Iberia flights as well. Unfortunately this will not be any time soon as the 747 will be the first to get WiFi, but the roll out process will certainly take quite some time.
Really this is very surprising to me. Competitors around the globe have had WiFi for a long time. It seems BA is lagging way behind the competition, and WiFi isn't the only place that is happening. If you've ever seen the show "A Very British Airline," it is a 3 episode show that focuses on British Airways. In the show, BA attempts to show how much of a world class airline they really are. In the real world, BA has a sub par first and business class seats. Food is far from great and service can be downright terrible.
We will see in person how they handle long haul flights in first class. The WiFi issue is not a good start. I do like the idea of British Airways and I want them to be great. Hopefully they can live up to the high standards they attempt to sell to us.