Lufthansa FlyNet Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Updated for 2012-2013
Lufthansa continues to roll out its FlyNet in-flight Internet service to additional aircraft with service on more routes than ever before. FlyNet was the world’s first in-flight Internet service, launching in 2004, and the current generation of the FlyNet service was introduced in 2010 on Lufthansa’s Airbus A330 aircraft in partnership with Panasonic Avionics and Deutsche Telekom.
Today, 70 % of the Lufthansa long-haul fleet is equipped with FlyNet and by the end of 2012, Lufthansa will have oufitted almost all of the 102 aircraft in its long-haul fleet with the FlyNet service. The airline is also adding new free services to the FlyNet Portal.
1.) How does FlyNet work?
Using FlyNet is no different than using your laptop or tablet in a hotel room or at an Internet café. Simply turn your device on, find the FlyNet hotspot, and off you go. 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.
FlyNet uses Ku band radio to provide satellite-based Internet communications using Panasonic’s eXConnect system. The system works on trans-oceanic routes as well as over land. By the end of 2012, the service will also support GSM/GPRS mobile devices using Panasonic’s AeroMobile-based eXPhone system.
2.) What can I do on FlyNet?
Using FlyNet on your own device is no different than accessing the Internet anywhere else, although typically you won’t be at 35,000 feet traveling at 550 mph (885 km/h). This includes Web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, social networking, cloud applications, and corporate networks.
3.) How fast is the FlyNet service?
FlyNet is a shared resource. The FlyNet service supports downloads at speeds of about 5 Mbps with upload speeds of about 1 Mbps but the speed at an individual seat will depend on how many passengers are using the service and the kinds of applications that are being run, given that some applications are more bandwidth intensive than others.
4.) Does FlyNet support access to corporate networks?
FlyNet supports the use of VPN (virtual private network) software to connect to corporate networks
5.) What does FlyNet cost?
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). FlyNet is available in all cabins.
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. Miles & More members may also redeem their award miles to pay for using Lufthansa FlyNet.
6.) Is there a free service?
Yes. The Lufthansa FlyNet portal, which provides regularly updated business, political, sports and entertainment news, is available at no charge to all passengers. A new addition to the free portal is Sports24, which broadcasts a variety of live sports events such as Bundesliga and Premier League football matches, the National Football League Superbowl, Formula 1 races, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open.
7.) When will FlyNet support GSM/GPRS data? What about 3G?
Lufthansa will offer GSM/GPRS service by the end of 2012. This will permit passengers to send and receive text messages, including ones with images. In addition, data synchronization will be possible. Support for 3G data has not yet been announced.
8.) Can I use Skype or other Voice-over-IP services with FlyNet?
While Lufthansa does not block VoIP, the airline 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, may be used with no restrictions.
9.) Which routes currently offer FlyNet service?
By the end of 2012, the FlyNet service will be available on the entire intercontinental Lufthansa network, with just a few exceptions. Specifically, FlyNet is available on long-haul flights to and from North America, Central America, South America, the Middle East, Russia, Northern Africa, Japan, Korea, and India. By November, Lufthansa plans to open up the service to the rest of Asia, except for China, because Panasonic has not received a license for operating the service over Chinese territories.
10.) Which specific aircraft have FlyNet?
As of October 1, 2012, more then 70 % of Lufthansa’s long-haul fleet (78 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. Lufthansa is planning to start retrofitting the Boeing 747-8 by the middle of 2013 and the Airbus A380 by the end of 2013.