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Singapore Airlines gets inflight Internet

By David Flynn     Filed under: singapore airlines, inflight internet, Airbus A380

Singapore Airlines has officially joined the inflight Internet club, with sky-high surfing now available on 14 SQ aircraft ahead of a fleet-wide rollout over the next two years.

The service was soft-launched in April this year with the fitout of a limited number of Airbus A380s and A340-500s.

“We will be progressively equipping all our A340-500s, A380s and Boeing 777-300ERs with the (satellite Internet) technology” a Singapore Airlines spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller.

The inflight Internet service is already running on five Airbus A340s which run a non-stop business class-only service between Singapore and the USA.

Singapore Airlines is using a satellite-based OnAir system and there are two plans are available: US$10 buys you 10MB of data, and for US$25 you get 30MB.

And there are no freebies on board, even if you’re installed in SQ’s ritzy Suites – everybody pays for their slice of sky-high surfing.

The Singapore flag-carrier is running a year behind schedule, having announced in October 2010 that it would introduce the service “from as early as the first half of 2011.”

It now seems that 2012 will be the long-awaited Year of Inflight Internet for international flights.

Emirates finished upgrading all its Airbus A380s with satellite Internet in March, including all flights to and from Australia.

Earlier this year saw Qantas began trials of inflight Internet on its daily Airbus A380 flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Los Angeles – read our exclusive hands-on review of the service.

And United Airlines plans to launch inflight Internet on its Boeing 747 flights between Australia and the US sometime this year, along with the introduction of streaming video and music for passenger's own devices such as tablets and laptops.

For the very latest news for business travellers and frequent flyers, tune into @AusBT on Twitter!

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

 

Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 20/4/12 by airtraveladdict

10 Megabytes?

Ohh I just opened internet explorer, and 10 mb gone...

2 on 20/4/12 by Libertyscott

Charging everyone including Suites ("First") passengers?  Really?

That's quite simply outrageous, given the surcharge for Suites over conventional First.

Surely this is just for pilot trial purposes, because the business model you'd expect to be sustainable might be something along the lines of:

- Unlimited access free for Suites passengers.

- Free access to a set limit for Business, then discounted charged access

- Charged access for Economy.

3 on 20/4/12 by tt

On a recent QFA380 flight I used a 100mb allowance checking mail and a few websites.

4 on 21/4/12 by frenchglen

With the average web page requiring 784 kB of downloaded data, how is this even remotely useful?????

I'll likely be flying an SQ A380 to sydney some time in july/august, but unless they improve their offerings to something like at least 2GB, I doubt I'll try it out.

Even with some browser addon that strips images and reduces the size of web pages (downloading only text, etc), it still won't get you far.

5 on 7/9/12 by elemist

The problem is satelite traffic is rediculously expensive and bandwidth is very limited. Given the minimal margin on majority of passengers, they have to cover costs somewhere.

I wouldn't expect unlimited traffic any time soon. I would think they could be a little bit more giving maybe 50mb. That's adequate for some basic emailing which is all you really need to be doing while in the air. Maybe a free 50MB for suite/F class, and a discounted rate for J.

Really we've done without internet for all these years, and yes it's a pain to be out of touch for hours on end, but let's not be greedy! 

1 on 7/9/12 by tronixstuff

elemist has nailed it on the head. Satellite costs money. A few of you may be aghast at the cost and bandwidth limitations compared to experiences in the US where inflight wifi is cheaper, faster and plentiful. This is due to the use of a ground-based network of towers which operate in a similar manner to mobile phone networks that are much cheaper to setup than satellites. 

6 on 7/9/12 by cssaus

When I flew the A380 service from SYD-SIN in July, my PC connected to the wifi but I couldn't access the internet.

I queried this with the flight attendant and was told they didn't enable it for the SYD-SIN service. Has this changed in the last month?

1 on 10/9/12 by findjeremy

cssaus, yes I think it has. I too flew down to SYD from SIN ~4 weeks ago and although the 'OnAir' network was available the landing page said there was no service on this flight. I asked an attendant and they said that the Australia route(s) was not enabled yet.

However, I just flew down a few days ago and it WAS up and running fine the entire trip. That being said I wasn't about to pay $10/10mb! I would've hoped that SQ would do something like what Qantas is doing with their 'free trial'. The lack of discounting per class or FF status is also very concerning.

7 on 10/9/12 by cssaus

$10/10mb.....forget it!

 Recently used GoGo on a flight from JKF to LAX at a cost of $17.95 for unlimited access.

I remember using the previous inflight internet serviced Connexion by Boeing on SQ flights and it was signficantly cheaper. Used to be able to get about 3 hours access for about $14.95.

1 on 11/9/12 by findjeremy

Ah yes I remember the Connexion one too..in fact I seem to remember an 'all flight' option too in the ~$25 range..much more reasonable on a ~14flight to Europe etc.

 

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