Virgin Australia has unveiled international in-flight WiFi on its fleet of Boeing 777s operating to the United States.
The move makes it the only Australian airline to offer the service, which operates for the duration of the flight.
The system is very simple to use.
Just ensure your device is in flight mode then connect to VirginAustralia wireless. Then launch your browser which should connect you to the service.
If not, simply type in airborne.gogoinflight.com
Then select “Get Connected” to access the internet.
The rates are very reasonable at either 1 hour for $8.99 or $19.99 for the journey’s duration.
AirlineRatings.com flight tested the system last month and it worked very well with good upload and download speeds for emails, Facebook and Instagram.
Emails were quick and I could access Facebook and Instagram without any issues.
However, I didn’t stream any videos but am told this is also fine, depending on the volume of users which is standard with all the current systems according to the experts.
There are very easy to follow instructions and the crew is fully versed in the system.
It certainly gives you peace of mind that if you need to be contacted you can be.
And supporting that feeling is new research by Virgin Australia which revealed that 70 percent of Aussies confessed to having experienced “net-lag” during a flight and feeling frustrated because they couldn’t access the internet.
And over 65 percent said that feel overwhelmed catching up on emails, messages, and other unread notifications once they landed.
The survey found that Australians would use in-flight WiFi if it were available on international flights in the following ways:
-Social Media to check Instagram, Facebook or Twitter (23.8 percent)
– Stream movies or TV shows (21.3 percent)
– Personal email and web browsing (16.5 percent)
– Read the news (15.6 percent)
– Instant message friends and family (14.6 percent)
– Business/work email and web browsing (8.3 percent)
The research also found 71.3 percent of people felt their time on a long-haul flight would be more productive with WiFi, and more than three-quarters would perceive their flight to be more enjoyable if they could stay connected.
Not surprisingly, almost 50 percent of those survey said that they turned their phones back on immediately after landing.
And that is a key to living today. While some say the internet is an intrusion, it is so much a major part of the way we live our lives we feel stressed if we can’t be contacted and don’t enjoy the holiday.
According to Dr Andrew Campbell, Cyberpsychologist at The University of Sydney “we know that the inability to keep up-to-date with the online world and stay in touch with friends is a real fear that’s only grown since the introduction of smartphones.”
“Like it or not, staying connected has become an essential part of life for most of us and certainly seems to be where we’re headed as a society.”
Group Executive, Virgin Australia Airlines, Rob Sharp said: “Most of us use our phones on a daily – if not hourly basis – meaning it can be incredibly disruptive to have extended periods of time when you can’t connect with friends, family, colleagues, or what’s going on in the world. We’re proud to be the leader in providing Australians with greater in-flight connectivity on international flights.”
Virgin Australia now has an aggressive rollout of WiFi with all its 777s fitted and 10 domestic Boeing 737s kitted out.
Almost 75 percent of the 737 fleet will be fitted by year end and the airline’s six A330s will be equipped early next year.