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.
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:
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.