Lufthansa FlyNet Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

By Jonathan Spira on 13 June 2011
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Editor’s note: An Updated FlyNet FAQ was published on 10 October 2012 and can be found online here.

Updated last on 28 November 2011

Lufthansa’s FlyNet in-flight Internet service, which was the world’s first in-flight Internet service when it launched back in 2004, is back on line.

In conjunction with Panasonic Avionics and Deutsche Telekom, Lufthansa launched the second generation of FlyNet in late 2010 on the Airbus A330 aircraft.  At the present time, 25% of the Lufthansa fleet has FlyNet on board. Eventually all 99 aircraft in Lufthansa’s long-haul fleet will be outfitted with the FlyNet service.  Deutsche Telekom, using its familiar T-Mobile brand, is Panasonic’s partner and serves as the Internet service provider while also handling billing and customer support.

1.)        How does FlyNet work?
Passengers access FlyNet in the aircraft, similar to the way they would access Wi-Fi at a public hotspot anywhere in the world.

FlyNet uses Ku band radio to provide satellite-based Internet communications using Panasonic’s eXConnect system.  Eventually, the service will also offer Panasonic’s AeroMobile-based eXPhone system to support data services for GSM/GPRS mobile devices.

2.)        What can I do on FlyNet?
You can access the Internet the same way you do at home, at the office, or when on the road.  This includes Web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, social networking, and access to corporate applications such as content management systems and CRM systems.

3.)        How fast is FlyNet?
The service is advertised to support downloads at speeds of about 6 Mbps with upload speeds of about 1 Mbps but this is a shared resource and the speed at an individual seat will depend on how many passengers are using it and the kinds of applications that passengers are running, as some are more bandwidth intensive than others.

4.)        Does it support access to corporate networks?
Passengers can use VPN (virtual private network) software to connect to corporate networks via FlyNet.

5.)        What does FlyNet cost?
There is a charge, regardless of which cabin a passenger is flying in.  Two options are available.  One hour of the FlyNet service costs €10.95 (or 3500 miles from a passenger’s Miles & More account).  Up to 24 hours of the FlyNet service (which can also be used on a FlyNet-equipped connecting long-haul flight within the 24 hour timeframe) costs €19.95 (or 7000 miles).

Passengers can pay by credit card or charge the service to their T-Mobile account if they are a customer of T-Mobile or an affiliated roaming partner.

6.)        Is there a free service?
While FlyNet itself is not free, all passengers are able to connect at no additional charge to the Lufthansa FlyNet portal, which provides regularly updated business, political, sports and entertainment news.

7.)        When will FlyNet support GSM/GPRS data? What about 3G?
Lufthansa has said it expects to offer GSM/GPRS service in the second half of this year.  Support for 3G has not yet been announced.

8.)        Can I use Skype or other Voice-over-IP services with FlyNet?
While Lufthansa does not block VoIP, it does request that passengers refrain from using these services out of consideration for other passengers.  Skype instant messaging, as well as other instant messaging and collaboration services, can be used freely.

9.)        What routes currently have FlyNet available?
FlyNet’s coverage area includes Europe, the Continental United States, most of Canada, and the Atlantic Ocean.   Today the service is available on all routes from Germany (FRA, MUC, DUS) to North America, including Canada.    The service will be available on almost the entire intercontinental Lufthansa network by the end of 2011.

10.)      What aircraft have FlyNet?
As of late November 2011, 43% of Lufthansa’s long-haul fleet (45 aircraft) have FlyNet installed.  Lufthansa launched the service with Airbus A330-300 aircraft and has since added Airbus A340-300/600 and Boeing 747-400 aircraft to the FlyNet fleet.  For the Airbus A380, Lufthansa is currently evaluating possible retrofit options.

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