How can planes have WiFi

WLAN in the airplane: These airlines offer the Internet above the clouds

WLAN or WiFi is everywhere, from cafes to bus stops, from trains to airports, a service that people on the move appreciate very much.

Although more and more airlines such as Lufthansa, KLM, SAS, Air France and British Airways are already offering WiFi on board, there is still a long way to go when it comes to the quality of the service, as exorbitant prices and slow speeds stand in the way of widespread use .

Would you like to know which airlines offer Internet access on board?

Here is our list:

AirlineplaneHow much does WiFi on the plane cost?Book
Aer LingusOn board the A330 and A321neoLR machinesBusiness class free of charge
Aer Social - € 6.95 / $ 7.95 for 50MB
Aer Surf € 13.95 / $ 15.95 for 120MB
Aer Max € 29.95 / $ 32.95 for 270MB
Aer Lingus flights
Aeroflot“Sky High” WLAN on board Airbus 330 and Boeing 77710MB - $ 5
30MB - $ 15
100MB - $ 40
150MB - $ 50
Aeroflot flights
Air CanadaAlmost the entire fleetGogo Unlimited $ 49.95 / month (Flat rate internet on all airlines that offer GoGo)
Gogo All Day Pass $ 14 (24-hour access with the same airline)
1-Hour Pass $ 5 (1-hour access with the same airline)
 
Air Canada flights
Air ChinaAirbus 330 and Boeing 777Free of charge on domestic flights - excluding smartphones.Air China flights
Air EuropaBoeing 787 Dreamliner, Airbus 330 and B737-800 on all long-haul routesShort haul / long haul
30MB for € 6 / € 7
60MB for € 10 / € 13
100MB for € 15 / € 20
Flights with Air Europa
Air FranceBoeing 777, 787 Dreamliner, Airbus A330

Message Pass for WhatsApp, iMessage, WeChat, etc. - for free
Surf Pass - France / Europe / international flights for € 3 / € 5 / € 8
Stream Pass - international flights for € 30

Air France flights
Alaska AirlinesOn all flights except Q400 aircraftFree texting with iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp - for free
Gogo Unlimited $ 49.95 / month (Flat rate internet on all airlines that offer GoGo)
Gogo All Day Pass $ 14 (24-hour access with the same airline)
1-Hour Pass $ 5 (1-hour access with the same airline)
Alaska Airlines flights
All Nippon AirwaysOn all flights

30 minute * tariff - $ 6.95
3 hour * rate - $ 16.95
Total flight time (max 24 hours) - USD 21.95
Free for First Class

Flights with ANA - All Nippon Airways
American AirlinesOn select domestic flights and flights to America

Per flight for $ 10
Within the US: Monthly American Airlines Plan for $ 49.95 / month

American Airlines flights
British AirwaysBoeing 777-200ER, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A3801 hour for £ 8, 4 hours for £ 18 and £ 24 for the full flightBritish Airways flights
Delta Air Lines

Available on almost all domestic flights

International flights with A330, 757-200, 767-300, 767-400, 777-200 aircraft
Free texting with iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp - for free
North America Day Pass - $ 16

Day Pass Worldwide - $ 28
North America Monthly Pass - $ 49.95
North America Annual Pass - $ 599.99

Delta Airlines flights
Egypt AirOn select A330-300s2 price packages available depending on the desired useFlights with Egyptair
EmiratesAvailable on all flights20 MB free within two hours of registration
Prices and packages vary depending on the route
Emirates flights
EtihadAirbus A330-200

50MB only $ 5.95
150MB only $ 15.95 and 300MB only $ 29.95.
For first class up to 90 MB free WiFi

Etihad Airways flights
Finnair 
Airbus A350 and Airbus A330

Within Europe and the Middle East: Browsing € 4.95 - € 6.95 / Streaming € 9.95 - € 12.95

For flights to / from Asia and North America: € 7.95–19.95

Finnair flights
IcelandairComplete fleet

Within Europe: € 4
Between Iceland and North America: € 9.70

Fly free for Saga Premium and Saga Premium Flex as well as Saga Gold members

Icelandair flights
Lufthansa

Complete long-haul and selected medium-short haul of the A320 fleet

FlyNet (short and medium haul): from € 3
FlyNet (long-haul): Chat / Mail & Surf / Mail & Surf Plus for € 7 / € 17 / € 29

Flights with Lufthansa
Norwegian AirlinesOn almost all flightsFree use for surfing the Internet, e-mails and text-based messagesNorwegian Airlines flights
Oman Air

Airbus A330 and Boeing 787

WiFi usage from $ 10
Free for first class cabins
Oman Air flights
Philippine Airlines (PAL)On selected international flights30MB for free
100MB for $ 5
Flights with Philippine Airlines
Qatar AirwaysAvailable on all A380, A350, B787 and selected B777, A320, A321 and A330-200 aircraft

30min free

100MB for $ 10 or 200MB for $ 20
Qatar Airways flights
SASSelected Boeing 737-800 (Europe) complete long-haul fleetDomestic flights and flights within Europe: € 4.90
€ 15 for the rest of the world
SAS Plus, SAS Business, EuroBonus Gold and Diamond members: free of charge
Flights with Scandinavia Airlines
Singapore AirlinesIn some Airbus A350, A380, Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 787-10

Chat (30MB) - $ 3.99
Pro (100MB) - $ 9.99
Premium (200MB) - $ 15.99

Free of charge for passengers in Suites, First Class and Business Class as well as PPS Club members

Singapore Airlines flights
LATAM

currently not available

currently not available

Flights with LATAM Airlines
TAP Portugal

on the routes between Europe and North or South America on board the A330 fleet (aircraft Pedro Nunes, Vasco da Gama, João XXI, João Gonçalves Zarco and Fernão de Magalhães

A330neo

14MB only $ 14.99
50MB only $ 45
and 50MB only $ 45

 

 

Free messaging on board the A330neo
Flights with TAP Portugal
THAI AirwaysOn selected Airbus A330-300s and all A380-800s

10MB only $ 4.99
20MB only $ 8.99
30MB only $ 12.99 and 100MB only $ 34.99

Flights with THAI Airways
Turkish AirlinesB777-300ER

Economy Class: $ 9.99 per hour or $ 14.99 for 24 hours

Business Class: free of charge
Flights with Turkish Airlines
United AirlinesComplete fleetGogo Unlimited $ 49.95 / month (Flat rate internet on all airlines that offer GoGo) Gogo All Day Pass $ 14 (24-hour access with the same airline) 1-Hour Pass $ 5 (1-hour access with the same airline)United Airlines flights
Vietnam AirlinesAirbus A350-900 on selected flights between Hanoi / Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore / Japan / Korea / ChinaFree messaging for the first 30 minutes
Text messaging for $ 2.95
25MB for $ 9.95 or 80MB for $ 29.95
Vietnam Airlines flights

Status: November 2019

How can I pay on the plane?

Many airlines charge different fees depending on whether you need WiFi for your phone, tablet, or laptop. Since smaller devices like smartphones usually use less data, WiFi internet tends to be cheaper for them. But many suspect this is more of a marketing thing - business travelers using their laptop will pay for the few extra mice to do some airborne work. Fortunately, the internet has found some ways to turn your laptop into a mobile device in order to get those lower WiFi fees.

Also keep in mind that it is cheaper to buy WiFi and onboard entertainment in advance (if the option is available). Gogo, one of the most popular internet providers on board, offers monthly package deals that travelers can use not only with their respective airline, but also with the participating airlines that use Gogo. Just watch out for the monthly automatic renewal!

One more thing about payment - some airlines, like Frontier and Lufthansa, let you pay for WiFi on board with miles. So if you are left with a pile of unused miles, just keep in mind that you can use those for some onboard entertainment.

Why is WiFi often slow on airplanes?

While many airlines are rapidly upgrading their planes' internet speeds, there isn't nearly enough bandwidth for everyone to stream the latest episode of Game of Thrones. Most of the internet on airplanes is just good enough to receive emails, text messages, and Instagram, but not to watch or stream videos.

However, there is one exception at the moment. JetBlue claims that their WiFi service, aptly called Fly-Fi, has the ability to stream video on all aircraft. Pretty impressive for such a large airline! But nice things like this come at a price: while basic WiFi is free for surfing the internet, they charge $ 9 an hour for a faster service (15Mbps) that can stream and download. Still cheaper than many airlines' basic internet service.

Even with all of these big changes being made, expect the internet to go down every now and then, especially on international flights and even with great gogo or fly-fi service. Improvements are being made, but at this point it's just the name of the game when you're thousands of feet off the ground.

How do I get free WiFi on the plane?

There are many strategies for using free Wi-Fi on flights, from freeloading a friend's Wi-Fi pass to using a credit card that includes free Gogo Wi-Fi passes per year.

However, 11 airlines around the world are now offering free Wi-Fi to all passengers - yes, even in economy class. These are JetBlue, Air New Zealand, Norwegian, Qatar, Emirates, China Eastern, Philippines Airlines, Qantas, Hainan, Nok Air and Aer Lingus. Even more airlines are offering international business and first-class passengers free connections.