2015 In-Flight Connectivity Year in Review
Each year brings exciting developments to the world of in-flight connectivity and 2015 was no different. As part of our ongoing mission to keep you updated on the availability of in-flight Wi-Fi, mobile services, and live television, we thought you’d appreciate a recap of what happened in 2015.
Did you know that, as of the end of 2015, there are 60 airlines around the world which offer passengers some type of onboard connectivity? If you’d like to see a list of these airlines it’s available – and frequently updated – on our website.
Eleven new airlines began offering some type of in-flight connectivity (Wi-Fi, mobile services, or live television) to passengers in 2015.
China, in particular, saw huge growth for in-flight Wi-Fi during 2015. In Q2 China Eastern Airlines became the first Chinese carrier to receive approval to provide Wi-Fi on both international and domestic flights. Their international service launched in mid-November. Keep a close eye on China as we expect to see a lot more growth during 2016!
There are a number of web sites which can help you in choosing a flight which will offer connectivity. In March of 2015 we were delighted to see the announcement that Google would be integrating Routehappy’s amenity data into Google Flights search results. In doing so, if you’re using Google Flights to plan your next trip you’ll be able to compare available amenities such as Wi-Fi and in-seat power.
If you’re a sports enthusiast then you were happy to see increases in both the number of airlines offering live sports as well as the types of events they’re broadcasting. Among the new entrants to airlines offering this service are Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Norwegian, and ANA. And what sporting events were passengers able to watch in flight? The variety of live sports available onboard included the Rugby World Cup, the NFL Super Bowl, FIFA Women’s World Cup, NBA, and the T20 Big Bash League.
Of course here at @Altitude we’re always looking for fun ways airlines and passengers are using their in-flight Wi-Fi. You’d be surprised by some the selfies people are tweeting! Here are a couple of our favorites from last year:
- In December, during the week before Christmas, Virgin Atlantic partnered with Microsoft to create “the world’s first connected gaming experience at 35,000ft” using in-flight Wi-Fi. Passengers on two flights used the Wi-Fi to participate in the #thankyoudeer experience, helping Santa Clause track down his missing reindeer in time for Christmas.
- It wasn’t a strictly in-flight connectivity event, but on September 17th we saw lots of in-flight social media post by passengers onboard and Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to New York. Those lucky passengers – and tweeted about! – a live performance by the Irish rock band Kodaline. It was fun to see passengers sharing the experience real-time from over the Atlantic!
And we can’t forget to thank our community on social media! In 2015 we saw almost 100% growth on Facebook. It’s great to know that so many people around the world are interested to learn about and use in-flight connectivity during their travels.
2015 was a great year for in-flight connectivity and we can wait to see what happens in 2016!
Enjoy the journey.
Want to share your experience using in-flight mobile services or Wi-Fi? Please add it below in the comments section. And if you’re on a connected flight be sure visit us on Twitter or Facebook to share the experience with the @Altitude community.
Sport 24 Schedule: December 17th – 23rd
Flying through the 23rd? If you’re on an airline with Sport 24 you’ll have the chance to watch T20 Big Bash League, NBA, Barclays Premier League, NFL, Bundesliga, or the Eurpoean Rugby Champions Cup.
T20 Big Bash Cricket
Sydney Thunder vs. Sydney Sixers
Brisbane Heat vs. Melbourne Renegades
Perth Scorchers vs. Adelaide Strikers
Melbourne Renegades vs. Sydney Sixers
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma
Dallas Mavericks vs. Toronto Raptors
Barclays Premier League (more…)
How to Make the Most of Holiday Travel with In-flight Wi-Fi
The holiday season is upon us once again and many of us will be traveling domestically or internationally over the next few weeks to visit family and friends. It can be a hectic time of year, but there’s no reason you can’t lessen your stress and have some fun with in-flight Wi-Fi. To help you out along your journey we’ve got some tips for you.
Prior to travel:
There are a couple of online resources you can use to check for Wi-Fi on your flights. Two web sites that we recommend are routehappy and SeatGuru. Using your airline and flight number you can search for the amenities available on your flight.
Routehappy provides a “happiness” rating based on passengers reviews. Included in their flight data is a Wi-Fi icon which indicates if flights offer this service. Other sites including Google Flights, Expedia, and Kayak also incorporate routehappy’s amenity data into their search information.
SeatGuru provides comprehensive data on just about everything on board the aircraft – from detailed seat map with seat quality to type of in-flight entertainment to availability of in-flight connectivity and in-seat power. On the home screen of their site there are entry fields for airline, fight number, and the date of your flight, just enter the data and you’ll quickly find out whether you can be connected during your flight.
Once you’ve confirmed that you’ll have Wi-Fi you’ll want to take that into consideration for packing your carry-on bags. Be sure to include your Wi-Fi enabled device (smartphone, table, laptop), charging cords for in-seat power, power banks, and travel adaptor if you’re flying internationally.
At the airport:
While waiting in the terminal for your flight to board there are things to do to prepare for your in-flight experience.
• Disable automatic updates and backup features
• Configure your email setting to download on request
• Download any apps or files you’ll want to use during your flight
You’re finally in the air and on your way to see your family and friends. Looking for ways to entertain yourself or be productive?
During your flight you’ve got lots of time to surf the web and have some fun. Check out your favorite shopping sites in case there are last minute gifts you still need to get. Change your car rental, make dinner reservations, or order flowers as a hostess gift for a holiday party. You can even go online to your cable company to pay that bill you forgot in the flurry of holiday activity.
If you can’t stand to be disconnected from social media, update your Facebook status to let your loved ones know that you are on your way to see them. If you like to take selfies why don’t you tweet one with the #AltitudeConnect hash tag? We’d love to read about your experience using in-flight Wi-Fi!
Worried about being away from work for two weeks? Log in to your email and clear out your inbox. There’s no need to stress out over last minute emergencies at the office. You might even impress your boss for being productive during your holiday.
Where ever your holiday travel takes you this season we wish you a safe flight and a wonderful time with family and friends!
Sport 24 Coverage Schedule: November 26th – December 1st
This week is one of the busiest travel weeks for the United States. For all those passengers who will be traveling this week, Sport 24 has a jam-packed line-up to keep them entertained in-flight!
The big moments ahead:
Memphis Grizzlies vs Houston Rockets
Chicago Bulls vs Indiana Pacers
Atlanta Hawks vs San Antonio Spurs
Philadelphia Eagles vs Detroit Lions
Carolina Panthers vs Dallas Cowboys
Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers (more…)
Sport 24 Coverage Schedule: November 19th – 25th
Wondering which in-flight entertainment options are available on your upcoming flight this week? If you’re flying on an airline with Sport 24, watch the NFL, NBA, Premier League, ATP Tennis, and more!
The big moments ahead:
Tennessee Titans vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Washington Redskins vs Carolina Panthers
Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings
Cincinnati Bengals vs Arizona Cardinals
Buffalo Bills vs New England Patriots
Watford vs Manchester United
Chelsea vs Norwich City (more…)
Sport 24 Coverage Schedule: October 15th – 21st
Wondering which sports you can watch in-flight this week? Sport 24 has a full lineup of some of the best sporting events from around the world! From Euroleague basketball, ATP Tennis, NFL, Rugby World Cup, Premier League, and more, you’ll never want to get off the plane.
The big moments ahead:
Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir vs FC Barcelona Lassa
Unicaja Malaga vs Brose Baskets Bamberg
Fenerbace Ulker Istanbul vs FC Bayern Munich
Rugby World Cup – quarter finals
South Africa vs Wales
New Zealand vs France
Ireland vs Argentina
Australia vs Scotland (more…)
Sport 24 Coverage Schedule: October 8th – 14th
Have you been following the Rugby World Cup but have a flight during your team’s match? If so, you can rest assured that Sport 24 will bring you all the action LIVE at 35,000 ft to your seatback IFE or PEDs!
The big moments ahead:
Rugby World Cup
New Zealand vs Tonga
Samoa vs Scotland
Australia vs Wales
England vs Uruguay
Italy vs Romania
Ireland vs France
Seahawks vs Bengals
Patriots vs Cowboys (more…)
Q3 2015 Updates on Global In-flight Wi-Fi
As we head into the 4th quarter of 2015 it’s time for us to reflect on the 3rd quarter developments for in-flight connectivity around the world.
Three airlines launched connectivity service during the 3rd quarter, bringing the total number of airlines offering connectivity to 60. Additionally, a number of airlines announced that connectivity will be available to passengers on new routes.
Here’s an update of Q3’s developments for in-flight connectivity services:
Newly launched service:
• As of June 28th WestJet’s “WestJet Connect” service became available with free viewing of 3 channels of live television and introductory Wi-Fi price of $7.99 for the duration of the flight.
• In late July Air Seychelles launched 7 channels of live TV – including Sport 24 – along with their in-flight Wi-Fi.
• “Air Serbia Wi-Fly”- their Wi-Fi and mobile services connectivity – launched on September 25th with a flight to Sarajevo. They expect to have their full Airbus fleet equipped by the end of Q1 2016.
New routes with connectivity:
• September 10th SAS launched their Stockholm-Hong Kong route, which will operate 5 times weekly.
• Virgin Atlantic’s new London (LHR) to Hong Kong (HKG) route has in-flight Wi-Fi.
• American Airlines now has 2 routes with connectivity to Tokyo’s Narita (NRT), one from Chicago (ORD) and one from Houston (IAH).
Announcements for new airlines to launch connectivity:
• In July KLM announced that the first of their 10 787-9s with in-flight Wi-Fi will be delivered this October.
• Eurowings will launch their in-flight Wi-Fi service in November.
• Starting in summer of 2016 Lufthansa will offer Internet access on their short and medium-hail flights.
As an interesting side note, on September 17th we saw lots of in-flight posts to social media by passengers on an Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to New York. Those lucky passengers witnessed – and tweeted about! – a live on board performance by Irish rock band Kodaline. It was fun to see passengers sharing the experience real-time from over the Atlantic!
There are only 3 more months to 2015. How many more airlines will launch new connectivity service this year? We can’t wait to find out and you can rest assured we’ll share the information with you as soon as it’s available.
Sport 24 Coverage Schedule: September 10th – 15th
Wondering what to watch on your flight this week? If you’re flying on an airline offering Sport 24, you can watch the US Open Tennis finals and the start of the 2015-2016 NFL regular season!!!
The big moments ahead:
US Open Tennis
Men’s Quarter Finals
Women’s Semi Finals
Mixed Doubles Finals
Men’s Semi Finals
Watch the NFL In-Flight!
Who’s ready for some football…in-flight!?! Live coverage of the NFL returns to Sport 24 this week with the start of the regular 2015-2016 season.
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