BA In-Flight Entertainment Guide

What In-Flight Entertainment system does BA use and what films and TV will be available to watch on my flight?

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways In Flight Connectivity & Entertainment

BA Boeing 787-9 First Class IFE Screen
BA Boeing 787-9 First Class IFE Screen (Image Credit: British Airways)

We receive a lot of enquiries about what in-flight entertainment (“IFE”) systems are used by BA and what programming is available, so we thought it would be useful to set out what we know.

Long-haul flights

All BA long-haul flights feature a personal IFE screen at every seat with on demand TV and audio programming.   However, the systems used and, by extension, the quantity and picture quality of content vary by the type of aircraft.

The one exception is BA’s all business class Airbus A318 flight from London City to New York JFK.  There is no IFE system fitted on this aircraft, so passengers are offered iPads with pre-loaded content instead.

Short-haul & medium-haul flights

There are no at seat IFE systems on any Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft which operate the vast majority of short-haul flights at London Heathrow or Gatwick.

A small number of BA’s fleet of Airbus A321 aircraft feature at seat entertainment screens.  These operate selected flights to destinations such as Amman, Beirut, Moscow Domodedovo and Tel Aviv.

There are also no at seat IFE systems on any Embraer E-170 or E-190 aircraft at London City airport.

Overhead screens with a limited range of films and TV programmes are available on BA’s soon-to-be-retired fleet of Boeing 767 aircraft which operate on selected flights to Athens and Larnaca.  There is also a selection of audio programming available at seat.

Let’s look at entertainment on long-haul flights in more detail:

BA In-flight entertainment systems on long-haul flights

BA uses three types of IFE system.  In order of sophistication and quality these are:

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BA to roll out WiFi across its Boeing 747, 777, 787 & Airbus A380 fleet

British Airways is to install high speed WiFi across the majority of its Airbus A380 and Boeing 747, 777 and 787 fleet of aircraft from 2017.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways In Flight Connectivity & Entertainment

British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has today announced that it is to install high speed in flight WiFi across its fleet of long-haul aircraft.

The system will be a satellite based GoGo 2ku WiFi network.

The installation will begin in early 2017.  BA’s parent company, International Airlines Group, has previously indicated that WiFi will be fitted to the majority of its long-haul fleet by 2019.

WiFi will be fitted on all Boeing 777, Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 aircraft.  18 of BA’s fleet of approximately 40 Boeing 747s will also be fitted with WiFi.

We surmise that these are the 18 aircraft which are mid-way through a refurbishment programme to upgrade aircraft interiors and in flight entertainment systems.  A Boeing 747 aircraft will also be the first to be fitted with the new WiFi system.

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BA to show “Soccer AM” and Premier League highlights on board long-haul aircraft

British Airways to show Sky Sports’ popular weekly Soccer AM on some of its long-haul flights from 19 August 2014.

The airline will also show weekly highlights of Premier League games from the 2014/2015 season of the Barclays Premier League.

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BA now trialling in-flight WiFi on a single Boeing 747 aircraft

We have to admit for having known for some time that British Airways has been trialling in-flight WiFi on a single Boeing 747 aircraft.

However, as there has been no way of knowing whether this aircraft will be available on a specific flight (we understand this was intentional) the trial has not been particularly newsworthy.

Based on this update issued by BA it seems the trial is now being targeted to a single specific flight. That flight is BA183 from London Heathrow to New York JFK. However, we cannot currently verify that this is case.

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