In mid-2016 I first wrote about how Air France was finally planning on introducing inflight wifi, which is an exciting development. Within the past week the airline has shared some further information about their inflight wifi, and it’s great news. The first planes with wifi are now flying, and we now have a sense of the timeline with which all planes will have wifi, as well as the pricing.
When will Air France planes have wifi?
Air France has announced that the entire fleet should be wifi equipped by the end of 2020. By the end of 2018, Air France intends to have wifi on 22 longhaul aircraft and eight short-haul aircraft.
The first planes with wifi are already flying, so that’s great news.
What kind of wifi will Air France offer?
Air France is partnering with Gogo to install their 2Ku service, which offers high speed wifi. This is similar to the wifi you’ll find on many Delta flights, for example. There are some areas globally where there isn’t a signal, but for the most part this is one of the better options out there.
How much will Air France charge for wifi?
Air France CONNECT (which is the name of their wifi service), will offer both free and paid wifi offerings. The three choices (and pricing) will be as follows:
- A free “message” pass — passengers will be allowed to use WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage, WeChat, and the Air France website and app from their smartphone or tablet at no cost throughout the flight
- A paid “surf” pass — passengers will be able to pay for a wifi service that offers internet that’s ideal for sending emails and other stuff that doesn’t require much data, at the cost of 3EUR per short-haul flight, 5EUR per medium-haul flight, and 18EUR per long-haul flight
- A paid “stream” pass — on long-haul flights only, passengers will be able to pay for the fastest wifi available, ideal for streaming and downloading, at the cost of 30EUR per flight
Air France’s new wifi offering sounds excellent. While it will be a couple more years until they have wifi throughout their fleet, I’m thrilled that they’ll be offering Gogo 2Ku, and that the pricing will be quite reasonable, with no data caps. With Air France’s exceptional first class and great business class, this makes flying Air France even more enjoyable (or at a minimum, productive).
(Tip of the hat to YHBU)