Note: Despite the information supplied and publicised by CPHTravelWiFi and iPass, and successful inflight testing on selected airlines, a number of Australian Business Traveller readers have experienced issues with this service. If you experience any problems, contact CPHTravelWiFi for assistance or to request a refund.
Inflight Internet access can be horridly expensive, but you can escape those sky-high costs by taking out a global WiFi subscription which unlocks unlimited Internet aboard 28 airlines from just $15 per month.
That's right: your connection is unlimited when it comes to both how long you spend online and how much data you use.
This deal covers the following airlines which ply the Australian skies:
- American Airlines
- Cathay Pacific (Airbus A350 flights)
- Etihad Airways
- Japan Airlines
- Malindo Air (Boeing 737-900ER flights only)
- Singapore Airlines (Boeing 777-300ER, Airbus A350 and A380 flights only);
- and United (‘selected flights’, eventually to be 'all flights').
Other international airlines covered include Qantas partners Aer Lingus, Airberlin, Alaska Airlines and WestJet, and Virgin Australia partners Air Canada (North American flights only), Alitalia, Hainan Airlines, Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic.
Rounding out the list: Aero Mexico, Air Austral, Air Serbia, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, GOL Airlines, Kenya Airways, KLM, Level, Lufthansa and SWISS.
How does it work?
It's a simple two-step process.
1. Subscribe to the ‘CPHTravelWiFi’ service provided by Copenhagen Airports – which can be done online, without visiting Denmark;
2. Download a WiFi app for your smartphone or tablet, or a desktop program for Windows or Mac laptops, which gets you connected above the clouds.
While this provides Internet connectivity if you happen to visit Copenhagen Airport itself, the monthly subscription also unlocks access to over 60 million WiFi hotspots globally at no extra charge, including at over 780 other airports, on over 800 trains, at 90,000 hotels and at 50 million business and community locations.
In turn – and here's the real power of this package for the business traveller – the same subscription also gives unlimited access to inflight Internet aboard over 2,700 aircraft from the airlines listed above, via roaming partner iPass – although there's no 'roaming' fee added to your monthly subscription.
You can find out more on the CPHTravelWiFi website, although you may need to change the language to English (click in the top right corner).
CPHTravelWiFi subscription pricing
Four plans are available as follows, which Copenhagen Airports prices in Danish krone.
- One month pass: DKK109.50 (A$22.05)
- Two month pass: DKK199 (A$40.05, being A$20.03/month)
- Three month pass: DKK265.50 (A$53.50, or A$17.84/month)
- Six month pass: DKK465 (A$93.60, or A$15.60/month)
As you can see, the longer you subscribe, the lower the monthly cost – the best value being the six month pass which works out to be just A$15.60 per month.
That said, even the A$22.05 one-month pass still presents good value, being about the same cost as connecting to a full-priced service on just one flight, but giving you the chance to log-in across multiple flights and airlines, and of course, to test the service before committing to a longer plan.
Just head to the CPHTravelWiFi website, select your plan, create an account using your name, email address and a password, and then complete your credit card billing information. You can choose to be charged in euros rather than Danish krone, but the Australian dollar cost remains roughly the same:
Unfortunately, the service doesn’t accept American Express or Diners Club cards – only Visa and Mastercard – but the savings to be had on your inflight Internet costs should more than outweigh earning fewer points on this purchase.
Before submitting your payment, be aware that the ‘auto renew’ box is automatically checked: you might choose to leave this so if you’re purchasing a longer plan, but if you’re trying the service for one month only before considering a better-value plan, uncheck this box so you won’t be auto-billed again next month.
If you do decide to change or cancel your subscription, this can also be done through the Account section of the same website.
Getting connected in the air
To get your Windows or Mac laptop connected, follow the instructions in the email you receive when activating your subscription, or visit the Account area of the CPHTravelWiFi website to get started.
Regardless of the device you’re using, you’ll need to do this before your flight while you still have Internet access somewhere else, such as at home, in the office or the airport lounge, so that you can login to the app using the account details you created earlier.
Once the app ‘knows it’s you’, you’re clear to switch your device to flight mode, and once WiFi connectivity becomes available on your flight (usually above 10,000 feet), enable WiFi on your gadget while leaving flight mode active, and then open the CPHTravelWiFi app.
The app will then recognise that you have a valid subscription and that a participating WiFi network is available: click on the prompt, and before you know it, you’ll be online – no credit card or further login required!
If you’re having any difficulty, you can also try connecting to the inflight WiFi network manually in the usual way, before returning to the app and following the prompts to get online.
To top it all off, all four subscription types allow you to connect up to three devices at a time to the Internet: so one subscription could find your smartphone, laptop and tablet all connected to inflight WiFi simultaneously: you don’t have to toggle between them as would when purchasing inflight WiFi the ‘traditional’ way!
Air New Zealand's Airpoints frequent flyers will enjoy have access to Qantas Clubs around Australia under the newly-forged alliance between the two airlines.
As of October 28, 2018, Airpoints Elite and Gold members booked on a codeshare flight with Qantas will find the doors swing open for them at the two dozen Qantas Club lounges in Australia's capital cities and regional centres. They'll also be permitted to bring in one guest.
But it won't be as easy as flashing your shiny Airpoints card, as the following conditions apply:
- you have to be travelling on a domestic Qantas flight
- it has to be booked under the Air New Zealand codeshare (those flight numbers will be in the NZ7xxx range)
- and this must be booked as part of a trans-Tasman booking
This arrangement replaces Airpoints access to Virgin Australia lounges following the dramatic bust-up between the two former allies.
However, there appears to be no Qantas Club lounge access for Koru Club members, nor can AirNZ frequent flyers cool their heels in the more upmarket Qantas Business lounges.
The Qantas / Air New Zealand alliance covers selected flights on the domestic network of each airline, however trans-Tasman and other international flights are excluded from the arrangement.
Cathay Pacific will roll out its new 'business class dining concept' this month, with the meal service taking a step closer to a first class experience.
Meals will be individually plated and delivered to passengers by hand rather than by trolley, as the airline adopts more personalised and upmarket approach.
Cathay also expects this will result in a "quieter and calmer cabin environment", especially on late night flights.
Passengers will have a choice between three appetisers and "up to six main course choices" on flights over ten hours in the initial launch of the service to the likes of Chicago (on July 30), London/Gatwick (in August) followed by Frankfurt, Manchester and Washington DC (September); Amsterdam, Paris and Johannesburg (October), Madrid, Brussels and Barcelona (November) and London/Heathrow (December).
And, being very much on trend, light and healthy 'wellbeing options' feature in every main course.
On flights from Hong Kong the menu will be changed every month, with a quarterly menu refresh for flights to Hong Kong.
Fights from Hong Kong (but not, for now, the return leg) will also see a new range of Hong Kong Favourites inspired by local dishes, such as
- Hong Kong char siu pork with egg noodles, seasoned soy sauce, spring onion and ginger (shown below)
- Wok fried seafood in lobster soup with ginger, spring onion, crispy and steamed rice
- Beef brisket with flat rice noodle soup
- Mango with pomelo and sago
But before all that eatings starts, business class passengers will notice the new-look menus.
Printed as eight pages on quality paper, they not only detail the meals and drinks available on that flight but include foodie-friendly articles such as 'Anatomy of a Laksa' and feature a local chef revealing their favourite eateries both in Hong Kong and around thr world.
There will also be a breakfast menu card which passengers will complete before hitting the hay, so that they can wake to what the airline described as a "hotel room-service" experience.
However, these are set menus rather than allowing travellers to pick-and-mix from a wide selection of items.
In addition to what's described as 'traditional' Chinese and Western breakfasts, there's also a lighter Continental breakfast plus a minimalist Express breakfast of a piece of pastry and a drink, which can be served 60 minutes before landing for passengers who wish to maximise their sleep.
Refreshments will be revamped as a selection of 'most loved dishes' available throughout the flight as a snack between meals on services to North America and Europe, including the airline's signature burger and popular soup noodles. These will also appear on the main meal menu.
Next year will see Cathay's 'new business class dining concept' extend to medium-distance routes, with plans to include Sydney and Auckland in February 2019 and Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide and Perth in May 2019.
Very few watches can claim true originality, and the Cartier Santos is among those few.
The Santos made its debut way back in 1904 as a personal timepiece for aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont, making it both the first pilot’s watch and one of the earliest known men’s wristwatches.
As we've previously detailed, the Santos was borne from a request by Brazilian flyer Santos-Dumont, who told his friend Louis Cartier – then a Parisian watchmaker – of the challenge of timing flights using the then-conventional pocket watch, as pilots needed to keep both hands on the aircraft controls.
In response, Cartier designed a large square-faced watch and fitted it to a strap so it could be worn on the wrist – quite a revolutionary concept at the time.
The first commercial Cartier Santos watches went on sale to the public in 1911 with solid gold cases and ultra-thin mechanical movements designed by French clockmaker Edmond Jaeger.
(In order to produce this movement for Cartier, Jaeger worked with Swiss movement manufacturer Jacques-David LeCoultre, a partnership that would lead to the birth of storied brand Jaeger-LeCoultre.)
The enduring design of the Cartier Santos was reimagined in the late 1970s as a luxury steel sports watch, later adding two-tone steel and gold and the now-iconic screwed bezel with exposed gold screws along the bracelet for a modern, industrial aesthetic.
For 2018, Cartier has once again re-invented the Santos.
The distinctive screw-set bezel now tapers at both ends towards the bracelet to create an organic, integrated look.
The satin-brushed case features a wide mirror-polished bevel along its length, extending all the way to the gracefully curved crown guards at 3 o’clock. A square watch the Santos may be, but there’s hardly a sharp edge or straight line to be found.
The case has been slimmed dramatically from previous incarnations of the Santos, allowing this watch to disappear easily under a shirt cuff when needed.
The bracelet is fitted with a new 'QuickSwitch' system allowing for easy swapping with the included tan calfskin strap or Cartier’s alternative crocodile straps, providing some style versatility.
Adding or removing bracelet links has also been made easier with a new 'SmartLink' design which allows the wearer to expand the bracelet during a hot summer’s day without requiring a tool.
While the bezel, case and bracelet have all been modernised, the dial remains classic Cartier. With Roman numerals, a railroad minute-track and heat-blued hands, it’s hard to imagine a more traditional look.
The 2018 Cartier Santos can serve dress-watch and sports-watch duties equally well, and boasts a history that few timepieces can match.
• In-house mechanical movement with automatic winding
• Seven-sided crown set with a faceted synthetic spinel
• Silvered opaline dial, blued-steel sword-shaped hands, sapphire crystal
• Water-resistant to 10 bar (approximately 100 metres)
• Medium version case width: 35.1 mm, thickness: 8.83 mm
• Large version case width: 39.8 mm, thickness: 9.08 mm
• Pricing from A$8,750 for the Cartier Santos Medium in steel, to A$52,500 for the Cartier Santos Large in solid pink gold with matching pink gold bracelet. For stockists, visit www.au.cartier.com.
Finnair will launch inflight Internet on its European flights this week, with travellers able to enjoy the high-speed satellite service free of charge during a two-month trial period running through to the end of September.
The Oneworld airline has already outfitted six of its single-aisle Airbus jets with technology provided through partner Viasat, which also provided the backbone for Qantas' Australia-wide WiFi system.
By the end of northern summer some 20 aircraft will be upgraded, with Finnair's entire single-aisle Airbus fleet slated for WiFi by mid-2019.
The system will be available on a gate-to-gate basis, so passengers won't even need to wait for their jet to reach level flight – which will maximise time online for many of Finnair's relatively short European hops.
However, parts of some European routes will present black spots to the satellite network, including above the Bay of Biscay and the North Sea, while some restrictions also apply over Latvia, Lithuania, parts of Belarus and Russia.
Over the two-month testing period Finnair intends to "gather information on system functionality and feedback on the overall customer experience."
"In entering the passenger testing phase, we’ll be gaining the critical insights needed to further optimise our service to ensure Finnair customers get a unique experience built around their needs, interests and usage behaviours," explains Viasat vice-president Don Buchman.
The airline has yet to reveal what pricing it will charge for its sky-high WiFi once the trial period ends, although frequent flyers will no doubt hope that some sort of monthly pass is available as an alternative to paying on a per-flight basis.
Finnair already offers WiFi on its long-range 'intercontinental' jets, with the first hour free for business class and Finnair Plus Gold members, then €3 (A$4.70) for three hours or €20 (A$31) for the entire flight. Finnair Plus Platinum frequent flyers are provided with free Internet access for the whole flight.