In mid-2016 I first wrote about how Air France was finally planning on introducing inflight Wi-Fi, which is an exciting development. Within the past week the airline has shared some further information about their inflight Wi-Fi, and it’s great news. The first planes with Wi-Fi are now flying, and we now have a sense of the timeline with which all planes will have Wi-Fi, as well as the pricing.
When will Air France planes have Wi-Fi?
Air France has announced that the entire fleet should be Wi-Fi equipped by the end of 2020. By the end of 2018, Air France intends to have Wi-Fi on 22 longhaul aircraft and eight short-haul aircraft.
The first planes with Wi-Fi are already flying, so that’s great news.
What kind of Wi-Fi will Air France offer?
Air France is partnering with Gogo to install their 2Ku service, which offers high speed Wi-Fi. This is similar to the Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi?
Air France CONNECT (which is the name of their Wi-Fi service), will offer both free and paid Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi available, ideal for streaming and downloading, at the cost of 30EUR per flight
Air France’s new Wi-Fi offering sounds excellent. While it will be a couple more years until they have Wi-Fi 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)