Qatar Airways Super Wifi: How Good Is It?

Filed Under: Qatar, Travel Technology

In my opinion Qatar Airways offers the all around best business class experience in the world with their Qsuites product. However, historically one area where the airline has lagged is with inflight wifi. Up until recently:

  • None of Qatar Airways’ 777s had wifi, and those were the backbone of their long haul fleet
  • Qatar Airways’ A350s featured OnAir wifi, which is incredibly slow

Last year Qatar Airways announced that they’d introduce “super wifi,” and I just experienced it for the first time a couple of days ago on an A350-1000 flight from Doha to Dallas, and wanted to share my thoughts.

Does Qatar Airways’ “super wifi” make the airline even more competitive?

What Is Qatar Airways’ Super Wifi?

Qatar Airways has partnered with Inmarsat’s GX aviation technology for their inflight wifi. This is a new type of wifi that’s significantly faster than what you’ll find with their OnAir wifi.

Which Planes Have Qatar Airways’ New Wifi?

Qatar Airways has said that eventually all Airbus A350 and Boeing 777 aircraft will feature the new wifi. However, it could take a while till that’s the case.

In the short term you can expect super wifi to be available on:

  • All newly delivered A350-900s and A350-1000s (all of these feature Qsuites)
  • All 777s that have been reconfigured with Qsuites, as well as select 777s without Qsuites

So if you’re flying Qsuites you’re more or less guaranteed this wifi. The only way to be absolutely certain is to fly an A350-1000, though, since 777s can always be swapped out last minute. All A350-1000s came delivered with the faster wifi.

How Much Does Qatar Airways Charge For Inflight Wifi?

Qatar Airways offers one hour of free wifi to all passengers with their new offering. That’s pretty generous, especially when you consider that this isn’t just limited to messaging or social media, but rather gives you full access to the internet.

On my 15 hour flight from Doha to Dallas the cost of wifi was just $10 for the entire flight, with no data caps. That’s an incredible value.

It’s my understanding that pricing varies by route, though. Still, all the data points I’ve heard suggest that the cost is $10-20 per flight with no data caps, which is an industry leading price, in my opinion.

Note that Qatar Airways also offers free wifi codes on select routes, though only if you book directly with them.

How Good Is Qatar Airways’ New Wifi?

I was extremely impressed by Qatar Airways’ new wifi speed. While not quite to the speeds you’d experience with Viasat or Gogo 2Ku on a domestic flight, I still found the speeds to be excellent. Furthermore, there were no major coverage gaps throughout the flight, which impressed me.

Stupidly I didn’t do a speed test, but as someone constantly uses inflight wifi, I’d say this was among the best speed I’ve experienced outside of Viasat or Gogo 2Ku.

Furthermore, I should add that while I’ve had good Gogo 2Ku experiences on domestic US flights, I’ve found there to be huge coverage gaps on international flights.

My only criticisms are that:

  • Sometimes the wifi briefly disconnected due to a lack of coverage, but it always returned within a minute or so
  • Any time I went “idle” for a couple of minutes I had to once again click the “connect” button, though that wasn’t a huge deal

Qatar Airways Wifi Summary

Qatar Airways offered my all around favorite business class even before they had wifi, but their new wifi is the icing on the cake. The speeds were excellent, and at $10 for the entire flight with no data caps, I felt it was a spectacular deal.

Let me take it a step further — I can’t think of a single airline that offers a better overall wifi value for long haul travel. Lately we’ve seen a trend whereby some airlines have gone from offering unlimited data to offering data caps (EVA Air and Etihad are two such examples), so to see Qatar offer wifi with no data caps is awesome.

While Delta offers 2Ku on international flights, I’ve found the coverage gaps to be huge, and the pricing is also much higher.

So while this wifi isn’t quite to the level you might experience on the ground, this is my all around new favorite inflight wifi for long haul flights.

If you’ve used Qatar Airways’ new “super wifi,” what was your experience like?

Comments
  1. You’ve been beaten to the chase. All of Qatar’s QSuites 777s have Super WiFi, and most of the non-QSuites planes do too. FlyerTalk’s complete guide to the Qatar Airways fleet confirms that all QSuites 777s have WiFi, and some non-QSuites 777s have it too – A7-BAP does, at least.

  2. How does it compare to JetBlue’s WiFi? I found theirs is the fastest, especially when you consider the entire plane gets free access.

  3. I have taken several Qatar flights (777s with Q Suites) and most of the time I averaged 15 MBPS download speed with very few outages. This has made for some very productive work trips over the past 2 years.

  4. I tried during my flight from MNL-DOH B777 and it was a last minute equipment swap to a Q-Suite plane. Wifi is good during my flight and super fast!

  5. Lucky, can you share your thoughts on which of the two—Air France (by virtue of its first class) or Qatar Airways (in spite of practically not having a first class)—impressed you on this trip? Of course, these are two of your favourite airlines in the world—especially QR, which has the most luxurious A320s of any full-service carrier reviewed on OMAAT (a far cry from AF’s typical European economy product).

  6. Just today I took two flights – one on a Qsuites A350 and a non-Qsuite 777 – both were fitted with Super Wifi and they were seamless (apart from a slight blip passing through India). One thing to note is that streaming services are blocked – think Spotify and Youtube. For good reason, of course, but just a caveat to the ‘full access to the internet’ statement.

  7. It’s not a new type of WiFi, that would be 802.11ax. instead, it’s a different type of satellite connection. Quite a big difference.

  8. Last week I was flying DOH-ORD (QSuites) and to be honest Super wifi was nothing to write home about … cost was just $10 for the flight and must say during the 14 hour flight I was not able to even send or receive one email.. let alone get any browsing or files downloaded/uploaded…

    I couldnt even check in for my next flight on an app!

    I tried wifi last year on DOH – ARN and it was just as bad.

    I am encouraged to know others have had better, more acceptable performance. but two attempts have left me only with a negative experience.

  9. I’ve flown several Qatar flights in the past year. The Wifi on all has been horrible, and I was actually connected maybe 10% of the time. I hope you are right that it is improved now.

  10. Yes Qatar WiFi is super good.
    The only catch is, it does not work at all, when it flies over the countries that block WiFi. It is India (quite a big in my flight from the Gulf to Asia) and some other countries. That’s not a fault of Qatar Air but one should be aware of it.

  11. All those words and not one mention of the actual speed, average speed, theoretical maximum, or screen shot of you doing a speed test inflight.

  12. Just flown Malaysia to Doha/Doha to London in Q-suites, couldn’t connect at all to WiFi during either leg of the flight. To top it off they interrupt the infotainment to advertise how great the WiFi is.

  13. How the heck can someone write an article about “Super WiFi” without showing a proper speedtest from the flight? Or any stats on the speed at all?

  14. On a recent flight from Doha to Houston – we had the much hyped QSuites but the WiFi never worked a lick the whole flight.

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