We Haz a Sad: Qantas Unplugs Their In-Flight WiFi
Booo. Some not so great news today from our pals down under, Australian Business Traveller...
While many airlines are scrambling to outfit their planes with WiFi, it comes with great sadness that we announce an airline that has stopped providing their passengers with the luxury to surf the web while surfing the clouds. After about 9 months, Qantas has deemed their trial of WiFi a failure and will not be offering on their flights between Australia and the US.
The Red Roo sited low utilization issues for axing the web browsing on their A380s to and from Sydney and Melbourne. The most interesting point of the story is the fact that they pulled the plug on the trail with very little notification to the public (unlike the launch) and just this week released a statement.
Another reason for ending the trial was that only about 5% of passengers took advantage of the service. It makes sense as, with flights from LA to Oz, the majority of the flight is overnight and the return flight has a bit more daylight, but not enough to guarantee passengers stay awake long enough to set into work or browsing online. If the majority of passengers are anything like us on route, they'll prefer to catch some Zs over updating their Facebook status.
The airline has left the possibility of relaunching in-flight WiFi sometime in the future if they can find an affordable way to continue connectivity when traveling over the ocean. Hopefully in-flight wireless will return for Qantas passengers; it would be a great shame to see the demise of this new and great long-haul perk.
[Photo: chrismc38 for Flickr]