Qantas Airlines Stops Offering Internet Services to Passengers

January 13, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. in-flight (adj.) 
[in-flahyt] – done or provided inside the airplane
Example: The child had three in-flight meals during the long plane ride from Los Angeles to Singapore.

2. value (v.) [val-yoo]– to consider something as important or useful
Example: The airline company values its customers’ opinions.

3. frequent flyer (n.) [free-kwuhnt] [flahy-er]– a person who often rides or flies on an airplane
Example: Businessmen who always travel abroad for business meetings are frequent flyers.

4. book (v.) [book]– to schedule or to reserve something for future use
Example: The travel agent booked my flight from Tokyo to the Philippines.

5. feasibility (n.) [fee-zuh-buhl]– ability to be done or to be achieved
Example: The company’s board studied the proposal’s feasibility to know if the project can be done.

Read the text below.

Qantas Airlines has decided to discontinue its in-flight Internet service after an unsuccessful eight-month trial.

During the trial, Qantas passengers were offered Internet access while on board A380 superjumbo planes traveling to Los Angeles and London. Passengers could go online using their own personal laptops or handheld devices. The Internet service cost around $12.90 to $39.00, depending on the data size.

A Qantas spokesperson says the company wishes to focus on services valued by its customers. With the trial showing an average of only 5% of customers using the in-flight internet service, it appears that Qantas customers place little value on internet connectivity while riding on airplanes.

Furthermore, the cost of maintaining the technology for the in-flight Internet service cannot be supported by Qantas if only few passengers make use of it.

One member of Qantas’ premium frequent flyer program was surprised by Qantas’ decision to stop offering Internet service to passengers. He said a growing number of businesspeople need to remain connected to the Internet while traveling. The member said the availability of in-flight Internet would definitely affect his choice of airlines. He said that he would prefer to book a flight with an airline that offered Internet connection to its passengers.

Qantas says it will continue to evaluate the feasibility of providing Wi-Fi options to its customers. In the meantime, passengers can still use their phones to call or send and receive messages while riding on selected Qantas airplanes.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Would the absence of in-flight Internet service affect your choice of airlines or transportation? Please explain your answer.
·         What other kinds of services would you like airline companies to offer?

Discussion B

·         How do you think the Internet has affected our lives for the better?
·         Can having constant access to the Internet affect our lives negatively? How so?


January 13, 2013