It's a big step forward for both airlines, and will see them join the growing list of international airlines offering sky-high WiFi on flights into and out of Australia – among those American Airlines, ANA, Emirates, Etihad, JAL, Qatar, Singapore Airlines, Scoot, and soon Cathay Pacific.
Qantas and Virgin Australia are already talking up the use of streaming services, with the Red Roo hopeful of live-streaming 20/20 Cricket.
Virgin Australia has yet to reveal its pricing structure, although Qantas has notably promised free Internet for everybody on the plane.
So here's the thing: when I speak with travellers and frequent flyers about inflight Internet, there's a clean divide right down the middle on if it's a Good Thing or a Bad Thing.
The reasons are easy to fathom.
Good Thing is about being in touch and on top of things while you fly, especially on our long transcontinental trek between the east coast capitals and Perth. Being able to turn that flying time into useful working time.
Bad Thing is about flying time not being working time – indeed, being a rare slice of downtime, disconnected from email and phone calls and social media, and relaxing with a good book or a trashy magazine.
"Ah, but you don't have to be connected" suggests Good Thing. "You have a choice."
"Not if it's a work trip, my company is paying and my boss expects me to be online!" responds Bad Thing.
That's pretty much how most of the conversations seem to go... and when Qantas rolls out its first WiFi-equipped Boeing 737 in the next few months, the conversation is going to move from a largely academic what-if to reality.
And with Qantas and Virgin wiring up their domestic Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A330 jets fleets from next year, at some point we'll find stepping onto a domestic flight and staying connected will become the norm.
Where do you stand with inflight internet on flights within Australia? Will it be a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?
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