Wi-Fi in the Sky: Here’s how much airlines charge passengers for Internet access

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For some of us, plane travel is the perfect excuse to disconnect for a bit, but for others, in-flight Wi-Fi is a near-necessity. Fortunately, an increasing number of flights offer on-board Wi-Fi networks that allow you to connect to the Internet, and in some cases, you can even stream whatever you want via your favorite app and device. Better yet, we’re beginning to see An increasing number of airlines Introducing free Wi-Fi franchises in 2023 as they keep trying and Recover from the epidemic Beside Recent snafus scheduler.

In most cases, Wi-Fi comes on the fly by satellite connection between the airline’s fleet and a third-party internet provider such as Gogo or Viasat. You shouldn’t expect fast speeds by any means, nor will you be able to send or receive text messages over cellular airwaves, but if you’re just looking to send out some quick emails or check your Twitter feed, Wi-Fi while The Trip – WiFi should be able to get the job done.

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Prices and terms vary from airline to airline (and in some cases, flight to flight), so it’s not always easy to know if your flight will offer Wi-Fi or the cost before you book. This is where this post comes in. Below, we’ve listed the 10 best US airlines and detailed their respective Wi-Fi offerings to help you keep things on track while booking your next flight. If policies change, we will update this list accordingly. (For more travel tips, check out 12 essential items to remember to pack on your next tripAnd How to save money on travel despite the high costs of the trip.)

Alaska Airlines

Wi-Fi during the flight: Yes, on most flights
Wi-Fi cost: Usually $8, sometimes as high as $25
video streaming: Yes on flights equipped with “Streaming-Fast Wi-Fi”, No on flights equipped with “Basic Wi-Fi”
Text messages: Yes, no purchase necessary (iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp only, no SMS)

On most flights, streaming satellite Wi-Fi is available for only $8. Alaska Airlines Wi-Fi FAQ page. The site adds that some of the airline’s shorter flights — particularly those using the 737-9 MAX or all Q400s — aren’t equipped with an onboard internet system yet. Alaska Airlines also warns passengers that there may be a short interruption in satellite signal mid-flight, and adds that satellite Wi-Fi is not available over the Arctic Circle in Alaska, or when flying over certain areas of New Mexico.

In addition, Alaska Airlines offers a catalog of free in-flight movies and TV shows, as well as free texting to all Wi-Fi-connected passengers onboard, even those who don’t pay for full web access. However, the app’s options are limited to iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. SMS messages are not supported, and you cannot send photos or videos. Additionally, Alaska Airlines does not allow passengers to make voice or video calls via apps like FaceTime or Zoom.

The company claims that 90% of its fleet offers satellite Wi-Fi, with the goal of reaching 100% sometime in the early part of this year. The airline also distinguishes between “Wi-Fi Streaming” which allows passengers to stream, chat and browse the web and “Basic Wi-Fi” which does not support streaming or uploading large attachments. Here is the list of aircraft that support the fastest first option:

  • everybody Boeing 737 Max Planes
  • All Boeing 737-900ER aircraft
  • Almost all Boeing 737-900 aircraft
  • Most Boeing 737-800 aircraft
  • All Airbus aircraft

Here’s the list of planes that offer slower basic Wi-Fi, and that don’t allow live streaming:

  • All Embraer E175 aircraft
  • All Boeing 737-700 aircraft
  • Select one Boeing 737-800 and one 737-900

Alaska Airlines also notes that the price for base Wi-Fi on Boeing 737 planes varies and can be as low as $25. Monthly and annual internet subscriptions Also available for frequent flyers. while, T-Mobile Wi-Fi on boarda feature for select T-Mobile and Sprint subscribers, is also an option on some Alaska Airlines flights.

Allegiant Air

Wi-Fi during the flight: number

Wi-Fi is not available on any Allegiant flight, the airline notes In-flight Frequently Asked Questions pageAllegiant does not offer its own catalog of movies and TV shows for in-flight entertainment. You get two beers, two snacks, and a single-serve meat and cheese tray for $28, though, so they’ve got that for you.

American Airlines

Wi-Fi during the flight: Yes, on selected domestic flights
Wi-Fi cost: “less than 10 USD”
video streaming: yes
Text messages: Yes (No SMS)

American Airlines Announces Availability of “Upgraded High-Speed ​​Wi-Fi” His travel information website, but only on selected domestic flights. You will need to Check your flight status See if Wi-Fi is included with your flight — if it is, you’ll be able to pay a fee to connect, browse the web, check emails, send messages, or stream video from services like Netflix, Hulu, and top-of-the-line HBO.

This fee can vary from flight to flight, but American Books has it available on most routes starting at $10. AAdvantage members You can also purchase a Wi-Fi subscription plan Which costs $50 per month for one device, or $60 per month for two devices.

It also supports some Delta flights T-Mobile Wi-Fi on boarda feature that allows select T-Mobile and Sprint subscribers to connect in the air for unlimited texting, as well as streaming and browsing capabilities on international and domestic flights.

according to Terms of use of the Internet during the flightUS Wi-Fi on board is provided by Gogo, Viasat, and Panasonic.

The graph shows the different types of aircraft in Delta's domestic travel fleet, along with the percentage of each aircraft that offers in-flight Wi-Fi.  100% of the 737s and 757s offer service, but the newer A321, A320 and A319 will not be online until the end of 2023.



Wi-Fi during the flight: yes
Wi-Fi cost: Free for SkyMiles members, $10 for non-members
video streaming: yes
Text messages: Yes (iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp only)

With the service provided by Viasat and Intelsat, Delta is currently in the process of being deployed Free on-board satellite Wi-Fi for SkyMiles membersThe service is expected to be available on all domestic Delta flights by the end of 2023. Currently, it is only available on Boeing 737 and 757 aircraft; The fleet’s Airbus A319, A320 and A321 class aircraft are expected to be operational by December 30.

If you’re not a SkyMiles member, you can still access Delta’s onboard Wi-Fi, but you’ll need to pay a $10 fee. Daily and monthly Wi-Fi subscriptions are available for frequent flyers, and it supports some Delta flights as well T-Mobile Wi-Fi on boarda feature for select T-Mobile and Sprint subscribers that includes unlimited free texting, plus browsing and streaming with select plans.

Frontier Airlines

Wi-Fi during the flight: number

Frontier does not offer in-flight Wi-Fi or on-demand entertainment on any of its flights. This also means that there is no way to text while you are in the air on a Frontier flight.

“Not having these services and power outlets available on our flights means cost savings, and the lowest possible fares can be passed on to our customers,” The company’s FAQ page on the flight is reading.

Hawaiian Airlines

Wi-Fi during the flight: not yet

In 2022, Hawaiian Airlines He struck a deal with Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service To start offering free Wi-Fi on board as soon as this year. However, the service doesn’t appear to be available yet, so at this time passengers can’t browse the web while in flight.

However, the company’s A321neo aircraft come equipped with Wi-Fi networks on board Travelers can use it to stream a selection of movies and TV shows on their personal devices. To access this catalog, you will need to download the free Hawaiian Airlines app on file android or iOS device.

Jet Blue

Wi-Fi during the flight: yes
Wi-Fi cost: free
video streaming: yes
Text messages: Yes (No SMS)

Jet Blue billing itself As the only major airline to offer “free, high-speed Wi-Fi in every seat and on every plane”. Satellite service is provided on board by viasatTravelers can use it to browse the web, send messages and emails, or stream video.


Wi-Fi during the flight: yes
Wi-Fi cost: $8 per device
video streaming: No (Movies and TV shows are available for free on demand, including select live TV channels)
Text messages: Yes, no purchase required (iMessage and WhatApp only, no SMS)

Not all Southwest planes are equipped with Wi-Fi, but those that do save passengers Free access to on-demand movies and TV showsincluding select live programming, plus free music through iHeartRadio and free text messaging via iMessage or WhatsApp.

Travelers can pay $8 per device for full web access, which adds browsing advantage, but due to bandwidth limitations, they won’t be able to stream video from Netflix, Hulu or other services, nor will they be able to use video conferencing software like Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

Spirit Airlines

Wi-Fi during the flight: yes
Wi-Fi cost: $3 for browsing/text, $6 for streaming
video streaming: yes
Text messages: yes

spirit It promises to deliver the fastest Wi-Fi on board From any US-based carrier, but don’t get too excited — speeds top out by about 7-10Mbps, which is decent by aviation standards but still much slower than you’re used to on the ground. The company adds that more upgrades to its internal networks are coming in 2023, including gateway-to-gate coverage, multiple device plans, and support for Google Pay and Apple Pay.

Browsing and sending messages only costs $3 per device, but you’ll need to earn $6 if you want a connection fast enough to stream video. Wi-Fi is available across most of Spirit’s fleet, including all of its Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, though the company is still working on connectivity on the Airbus A319. Wi-Fi on board Spirit is provided by Thales.


Wi-Fi during the flight: yes
Wi-Fi cost: $8 (or 1,600 miles) for Mileage Plus members, $10 for non-members
video streaming: sometimes
Text messages: yes

United offers onboard Wi-Fi for most North American flights Four separate providers: Gogo, Panasonic, Thales and Viasat. In most cases, the cost to connect is $8 (or 1,600 miles) for MileagePlus members and $10 for everyone else, although United warns these prices may be higher on some of its longer international flights. Once connected, you’ll be able to browse the web and send messages via supported apps, including iMessage, WhatsApp, and Messages by Google.

Most flights won’t let you stream videos directly from sites like YouTube and Netflix, so instead you’ll have to watch movies and TV shows from their catalog of free in-flight entertainment. However, you can stream the video on select Airbus 319 and Boeing 737 aircraft within the United fleet, including the 737 MAX 8 and 9 and Boeing 757-300.

Some flights are also supported by United T-Mobile Wi-Fi on boardFeature for T-Mobile Magenta and Magenta Max subscribers, as well as select Sprint subscribers. Eligible subscribers can get on board for unlimited texting and limited browsing, with unlimited streaming and browsing for Magenta Max subscribers.

For more, check out our tested picks for The best Wi-Fi routersAnd How do you know if your router is in the wrong place?.

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