Been hankering for some LOLCats in the air? Qantas passengers flying to Los Angeles on Airbus A380s from Sydney or Melbourne from today will be able to connect while in the skies as part of an eight week trial. Before you start queuing up those movie downloads, there are a few catches. Australian Business Traveller reports that the service will be limited to regular web browsing, email and smartphone/tablet apps, but services such as VoIP will be specifically blocked. In a test run of the service, passengers could connect as many devices as they liked, but were limited to a scant 35MB of data usage.
For the first few weeks of the trial — which only currently extends to first class and business class passengers — it'll be a free service while Qantas evaluates its pricing strategy. Alison Webster, Qantas Executive Manager for Customer Experience told ABT that:
"The eight week trial will give customers the opportunity to access the Internet in exactly the same way as a terrestrial Wi-Fi hotspot in which customers can pay with their credit card and surf the Internet, including the use of email. Initially when we launch the trial it will be free, then there will be a period with several paid packages so we can get an indication of the demand at different price points."
Do you want in-flight Internet? There are times when I think it'd be great to pass the time on longer flights — and others where I welcome the peace and quiet of being out of the regular net -connected world. [Australian Business Traveller]