When IFE isn't enough, Virgin Australia begins offering wifi on trans-pacific routes

Earlier this month Virgin Australia announced a move that would sit extremely favorably with most of us. Inflight wifi has long been a “dream” for some of us who prefer to answer a Snapchat then watch repeats of the Big Bang Theory on the IFE.

The airline announced they would be offering connectivity all the way across the Pacific on their routes from Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney to Los Angeles. The routes operated by the 777-300ER are the longest routes the airline flies with a trans-pacific flight between LA and any of 3 Australian cities typically taking around 12-13 hours. However, it comes at a cost with a full flight (some outages along the way, because you know, ocean) of wifi setting you back USD $15.23 or an hours worth of the wireless for USD $6.85. However no Netflix binges due to the airline blocking the site, as well as other data-hungry apps like Youtube. This being said however it’s probably worth it when you have a 13-hour flight in cattle class.

The airline is not the first to be offering in-flight wifi between Australia and the U.S with both American and United already offering it prior to VA’s announcement. However Virgin is sole Australian carrier on any route to be offering the service beating fierce rival Qantas which in any many regards is a major win for the carrier. Qantas is currently offering in-flight wifi on selected domestic flights however international travelers aren’t rejoicing with the flying kangaroo not seeming to be in any hurry to try it with no plans till 2021 at the earliest.

What are your thoughts on in-flight wi-fi? Do you like it? Do you wanna use it?


Virgin Australia’s 777-300ER while still partially in the V Australia livery at Los Angeles Airport, Virgin has 5 777’s in their fleet photo credit

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I don’t care about WIFI on planes, I can live without it. I care about IFE instead.

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This is great news, however I wish they didn’t block YouTube and Netflix! Sadly I don’t think I will ever use it being from England but I do love Virgin Australia!

It all depends on how much it costs. Even on a long flight, I wouldn’t pay a lot just for wifi when there is IFE.

Really 😂😂? Most IFE on planes sucks… i usually bring my own entertainment… it would be nice if there is free wifi…

If you don’t fly an American carrier you would know why I like IFE so much. ;)

But american carriers do have free wifi right?

Its great to see more airlines offering Wifi on long haul flights flights.

However I don’t think it is rare today. Almost every major airline offers wifi across international flights.

On Hainan Airlines, they offer free wifi on their their international routes and I think Air China does as well.

Some airlines in China offer completely free wifi unlimited (but you can’t use your smartphone).

Most airlines in the US offer wifi but at a charge. However I think on all airlines that use GoGo Internet, they have a deal with T-Mobile and that it is that if you are under a T-Mobile plan for your phone or cellular device, you get 1hr of free high speed internet/data.

I have used it before and not going to lie, it is in someways faster than my internet at home. I was in a video call with my aunt and live streaming on instagram with no problems. ;)

What airlines? Its kinda pointless to have wifi on chinese planes using chinese internet…

Hainan Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and Air China. I think China Eastern is offering it soon.

(also I just read that the Civil Aviation Administration of China has lifted bans on using mobile devices during flight which is nice)


And lol “kinda pointless to have wifi on chinese planes using chinese internet”?

And these airlines I am pretty sure arn’t using Chinese internet. Infact I am positive that Shenzhen Airlines and the others uses SITAOnAir as their internet provider which is a swiss company.

Although it wouldn’t make sense to have a chinese internet provide provide internet for flights because they don’t specialize in that service. Internet on flight works in a different way than on the ground.

Also even if a chinese internet provider were to provide internet, that wouldn’t make a difference because most internet on flights uses satellites and it doesn’t matter if it is american internet or chinese internet, the wifi info and signals most likely is going to the same place.

If there’s big bang theory involved I’m in! On serious note, this is a great idea and will definitely help them with their constant battle with Qantas.

Oh my bad I thought you may have been using American carriers but for the most part every airline I have flown in recent times which is Qatar and BA have had brilliant IFE systems. I have stuff downloaded from Netflix and BBC iPlayer and Sky Go but I never end up using it as the IFE were the latest systems.

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