Editor’s comment: In-flight frights and feasts

Inflight editor Alexander Preston summarises the latest happenings across IFEC and cabin technology.

Halloween may only just be over for another year, but the spectre of an under-par in-flight connectivity persists, according to the Estonian-based RebelRoam.

Although great progress has been made in rolling out high throughput services, the basic connectivity throughout the flight is still not as easily accessible as it could be, claims the company. Low, single digit in-flight Wi-Fi take rates serve as proof it says, arguing the situation is remorseful, given the amount of money invested in equipping the planes with the latest in technology.

To remedy this situation, the company has launched RebelRocket App offering free in-flight messaging only as a first step for airlines to offer complimentary Wi-Fi that enables streaming.

One airline that is continuing its investment in its in-flight Wi-Fi is Garuda Indonesia which will become the latest to equip its domestic and international aircraft fleets with Inmarsat’s next-generation GX Aviation Wi-Fi service.

Its current service is available to all classes on Boeing 777 and selected A330 aircraft, provided on a time-based system with varying caps depending on the duration. In addition to the service being complimentary to all first class passengers, those in other classes travelling on Garuda’s Wi-Fi -equipped Airbus aircraft are provided 15 minutes’ free Wi-Fi connectivity.

So, while some airlines may feel tricked by the bandwidth restrictions often placed on complementary Wi-Fi rather than content filtering by service providers, passengers are certainly feeling treated with the ongoing investments in IFC.

And on the topic of treats, I look forward to welcoming those attending Inflight Asia-Pacific next week. Good luck to all award nominees.


The editor’s comment is published weekly as an accompaniment to the Inflight e-newsletter. If you do not currently receive our email updates, you can subscribe here.

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