BA’s parent company International Airlines Group first announced plans to roll out in-flight WiFi across its member airlines some four years ago.
At the time, it was planned that 90% of all long-haul aircraft would have WiFi by early 2019.
That is now looking a little ambitious. BA has been progressively adding WiFi to its long-haul fleet. However, the availability varies widely by aircraft type.
At present, there is no way of knowing for certain if your flight with WiFi.
Here, we’ve indicated how many aircraft by fleet type have WiFi to give an indication of the likely chances of your flight being fitted with WiFi. Unsurprisingly, BA is focusing on refitting long-haul aircraft with First Class and high numbers of Club World seats first.
In short, you have a good chance of flying on a Boeing 747 with 86 Club World seats or a Boeing 777-200.
There’s a much smaller chance with the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300. There’s absolutely no chance on a Boeing 787-8 or 787-9 aircraft.
It is assumed that once a significant number of aircraft have WiFi, BA will be able to advise accordingly in online timetables and the Manage My Booking tool on the website and smartphone app.
2 of 12 aircraft fitted.
These are aircraft registrations G-XLEG and G-XLEH.
Please see here for our guide to BA Airbus A380 flights in 2018 from London Heathrow to Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Singapore and Vancouver.
When these 18 aircraft are delivered from July 2019, they will have WiFI already installed. There will be four Airbus A350-1000 in service by the end of 2019.
Boeing 747 – 86 Club World Seat Aircraft
14 of 18 aircraft fitted.
These are registrations G-BYGA, G-BYGB, G-BYGC, G-BYGD, G-BYGE, G-BYGF, G-BYGG, G-CIVR, G-CIVS, G-CIVV, G-CIVW, G-CIVX, G-CIVY, G-CIVZ.
These aircraft regularly operate from London Heathrow to Austin, Chicago O’Hare, Lagos, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
Boeing 747 – 52 Club World Seat Aircraft
0 of 18 aircraft fitted.
These aircraft regularly operate from London Heathrow to Accra, Cape Town, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, Nairobi, Phoenix and Vancouver.
It is assumed that few, if any, of these aircraft won’t be fitted as they are due to be retired in the coming years.
6 of 12 aircraft fitted.
These are aircraft registrations G-STBA, G-STBB, G-STBD, G-STBE, G-STBG and G-STBL.
These aircraft regularly operate from London Heathrow to Beijing, Hong Kong, San Diego, Sao Paulo, Singapore-Sydney and Tokyo Haneda.
Boeing 777-200 with First Class, at Gatwick and Heathrow
19 of 30 aircraft fitted.
These are aircraft registrations G-RAES, G-VIIA, G-VIIC, G-VIID, G-VIIE, G-VIIF, G-VIIG, G-VIIH, G-VIIJ, G-VIIL, G-VIIM, G-VIIS, G-VIIY, G-YMMJ, G-YMMK, G-YMML, G-YMMN, G-YMMO and G-YMMP.
These aircraft regularly operate from London Heathrow to Atlanta, Bahrain, Houston, Kuwait, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Shanghai. It is also paired with the 747 on routes to Boston, Seattle.
They also operate from London Gatwick to Barbados, Bermuda, Grenada, Port Of Spain and St Lucia.
3 of the oldest Boeing 777-200 aircraft, registrations G-ZZZA, G-ZZZB, and G-ZZZC, are unlikely to have WiFi fitted as they are due to be retired.
Boeing 777-200 without First Class, at Gatwick and Heathrow
9 of 11 aircraft fitted.
These are aircraft registrations G-YMMB, G-YMMC, G-YMMD, G-YMME, G-YMMF, G-YMMR, G-YMMS, G-YMMT and G-YMMU.
These aircraft regularly operate from London Heathrow to Bangalore, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, and Nassau – Grand Cayman.
They also operate from London Gatwick to Antigua, Cape Town, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Male, Mauritius, Orlando, Providenciales, San Jose – Costa Rica, St Kitts & Nevis, Tampa and Tobago.
Boeing 777-200 with 10 abreast economy seating at Gatwick
0 of 5 aircraft fitted.
These aircraft primarily operate on routes from Gatwick to Cancun, Kingston, New York JFK, Punta Cana and some flights to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.
When these 12 aircraft are delivered from 2020 to 2023, they will have WiFi already installed.
0 of 18 aircraft fitted.
These aircraft ordinarily operate from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, Kuala Lumpur, Mexico City, Santiago, San Jose, The Seychelles and Tokyo Narita.
It is assumed that addressing issues with Rolls-Royce engines has taken priority with the Boeing 787 fleet with this year.
0 of 11 aircraft fitted.
These aircraft ordinarily operate from London Heathrow to Baltimore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Montreal, Nashville, New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, and Seoul. It will also operate Charleston, Islamabad and Pittsburgh next year.
Officially, none of these aircraft have been fitted with WiFi.
If the installation of long-haul aircraft is anything to go by, BA is waiting for a reasonable number of aircraft to have WiFi before publicising it. BA says that the roll-out will be complete by the second quarter of 2019.
None of these aircraft have been fitted with WiFi.
Update January 2019:
The latest update from BA is that more than 50 aircraft are fitted with WiFi. 80% of its long-haul fleet will be fitted with WiFi by the end of 2020. The entire short-haul fleet, excluding BA CityFlyer at London City, will have WiFi by summer 2019.
Update March 2019:
A small number of short-haul aircraft are now operating with WiFi. The cabin crew should make an announcement if WiFi is on board. However, it’s worth checking on your device after take-off in any event.
More to read on British Airways:
Here are our latest posts on BA:
- BA Introduces Pre Paid Short Haul Catering
- How The Boeing 747 Transformed Flying From London
- British Airways’ Special Boeing 747 Charter Flights
- British Airways’ Most Memorable Boeing 747 Flights
- The Queen Of The Skies Ends Its Reign
- BA’s Grand 747 Ambitions For The 1980s and 1990s
- “East, West, Our Jumbos Are Best”
- “All The 747 Needed Was BOAC Service”
- British Airways Suspends Long-Haul Routes
- British Airways Reinstates Gatwick – Manchester Connection
- British Airways Ends Non-Stop Buenos Aires Flights
- BA Cancels Outbound Flights To Hong Kong
- British Airways Launches Southampton Routes
- BA Adds Long-Haul Routes In December
- BA Ends Wide Body Short-Haul Flights