Air New Zealand has in recent days quietly launched its in-flight WiFi service and opened it up to all passengers. The product has been in testing for selected customers since late 2017, and was reviewed by TravelTalk in January.
Pricing for the WiFi offering is a flat rate NZ$40 for an entire flight, regardless of the duration. Passengers also have the option of paying for this using Airpoints Dollars for APD$40.
Surprisingly Air New Zealand have not offered options such as a 1hr package for those people who may not want to fork out $40 for connectivity for an entire flight. Access to the Air New Zealand website or using the Air NZ app is available for free.
This price puts it at the very high end of the market - as a comparison American Airlines charge US$19 for WiFi between Auckland and Los Angeles, and Virgin Australia have this week launched WiFi on Boeing 777-300ER flights between Australia and Los Angeles for A$9 for 1hr or A$20 for the entire flight.
WiFi is currently only available on four aircraft in the fleet - Boeing 777-300ER's with registrations ZK-OKP, ZK-OKQ and ZK-OKS, and Boeing 777-200ER registration ZK-OKB. These aircraft are distinct as they feature a large radome cover for the antenna on top of the aircraft (pictured above) to connect to the Inmarsat Global Xpress satellites.
Installation of WiFi on the remainder of their 15 Boeing 777 aircraft as well as their 11 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet is scheduled during 2018 and 2019. It's unknown at this stage whether the grounding of some Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft due to engine issues will adversely affect the planned installation schedule.
For those keen to see if their flight will have WiFi you can use flightradar24 to see the aircraft registration scheduled to fly your route several days in advance. Simply enter your flight number in the search box and then click on it to show a list of previous and upcoming scheduled flights complete with aircraft registration. This can however change at the last minute due to scheduling, so should not be replied on as a 100% accurate source of information.
Have you tried the WiFi service? Your comments on the performance and experience are welcome.