No need to press pause! Qantas to stream Netflix and more inflight

Hannah Edensor

Qantas is gifting us with something pretty spesh, partnering up with Foxtel, Netflix and Spotify to bring passengers on board content on Wi-Fi enabled domestic flights.

With speeds up to 10 times faster than conventional inflight Wi-Fi, Qantas will be ensuring customers can stay up-to-date with their latest playlists and Netflix binges when the service is switched on during its first domestic flight at the end of this month.

The rest of the airline’s fleet of domestic Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 aircraft will follow suit from mid-2017 and beyond.

The faster connection speeds – which enable streaming – are made possible through the nbn Sky Muster satellite service, which marks a pretty snazzy upgrade compared to older satellite tech used by most of the world’s airlines.

Qantas group executive of brand, marketing and corporate affairs, Olivia Wirth, said that fast, free internet will open up a huge range of options for customers inflight.

“We know that email, online shopping and general web browsing will be popular uses when we switch on Wi-Fi, but what a lot of people relish about flying is being able to catch up on their favourite TV shows or watch movies they didn’t get to see at the cinema,” said Wirth.

“Foxtel and Netflix both have huge catalogues that are expanding all the time, so there will be no shortage of entertainment on board.

“The usage data from the collection of albums we already have on our aircraft shows that music is a great way for passengers to relax as they watch the world fly by. Spotify will open this up so you can listen to virtually any song you like.”

QF WIFI - entertainment page

While Foxtel, Netflix and Spotify are all paid subscription services, they will offer free access to Qantas customers on and off the aircraft for between three days and one month after their Qantas flight. To be more specific:

  • Foxtel will offer three days free access to its Foxtel app every time a customer flies, allowing customers to stream live sports, news and TV shows as well as its full range of on-demand content. No sign-up to a subscription is required.
  • Netflix will offer new customers access to the entire Netflix service as part of a 30-day free trial. Existing Netflix members only need to log in to continue watching at no extra charge.
  • Spotify will offer a 30 day free trial of its Premium music service, which has no ads, shuffle play and unlimited skips.

One catch, however, is that both Netflix and Spotify require customers to sign-up to a subscription to access the free trial.

Customers will log on to the Qantas inflight Wi-Fi via their own devices, and will find a landing page with a range of options, including links to access the three platforms, plus all the usual features like real-time flight data, weather info and destination fact sheets. Streaming of Sky News Australia will also be available.

Qantas is in discussion with a range of content partners on ways to improve the on board experience using Wi-Fi.