Air China pilots free in-flight Wi-Fi

The Chinese airline rolls out free in-flight Wi-Fi for passengers, but smartphones are not allowed to access the service to prevent signal interference.

Air China has rolled out free in-flight Wi-Fi for its passengers, but has banned smartphones from accessing the service.

Air China has rolled out free in-flight Wi-Fi service for its passengers, but has banned the wireless service from being used by smartphones.

Tech QQ reported the airline piloted the Wi-Fi trial from Chinese capital Beijing to another city, Chengdu, on Thursday afternoon China time. Passengers can connect to the Wi-Fi network by registering for a username, password, seat number, and identification number.

The airline also said Wi-Fi will only be activated when the plane climbs to an altitude of 3,000 meters or more to protect customer safety.

Air China's Airbus A330-300 models are equipped with wireless Internet access systems, wireless routers, and servers. The top of the aircraft will also be fitted with a signal-receiving antenna. 

While passengers are allowed to use laptops and tablets to access Air China's Wi-Fi service, they are not allowed to use smartphones to prevent cellular phone signal interference, the report noted.

Airlines around the world also have started to install Wi-Fi on their airplanes. Airlines that have piloted trials include Virgin Australia , JetBlue, Delta Airlines, Singapore Airlines , and Norwegian Airlines.