Sure, it was cool when Delta said we could start sending free (non picture) messages in the sky– but messaging is just so nineties. After we get done sending our five seconds of “see you later” messages, we’ve still got hours left to fill in the sky- and we want streaming, dammit! Since we’ve all got binge-worthy Netflix shows to catch up on, we’ve compiled a list of the airlines with the most wifi available, and which airlines have the fastest service, thanks to an amazing RouteHappy survey.
Step one is having internet, step two is the internet being worth it. But we’ll get to that later. Only a few airlines have wifi on all their planes, so if you want guaranteed service, your best bets are Icelandair, Scoot, Virgin America and JetBlue. If you want NEARLY guaranteed wifi on your flight, Delta, Emirates, Southwest, American, Etihad, United, AirSerbia, Japan Airlines and Alaska are the next surest fire bets. Delta, United, Emirates, American, Lufthansa, Etihad and Southwest have the most total seats with wifi equipped, as an interesting side note.
Currently ViaSat and Gogo’s 2kU service are the most sought after in the game, but much like winter, competition is coming. Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom are set to launch “EAN”, which many say could be the fastest new solution. British Airways is a launch customer. The UAE is also working on what they are toting to be the fastest of all, and Etihad will be a launch customer. At present though, Virgin America, JetBlue, Delta, Aeromexico and Virgin Atlantic offer the very fastest wifi in the sky, all roughly in speed order. American Airlines new 737 Max aircraft will feature some of the fastest wifi, as well- so be sure to look out for that.
Many airlines such as Delta, Virgin Atlantic, Qatar, Emirates, Norwegian, Turkish, Air China and China Eastern offer free wifi trials or basic messaging and social media connectivity. Virgin Atlantic actually encourages passengers to send #skyhighselfies to share their experience. Though they’re currently sold out (join the waiting list), the best “hack” for cheap in flight wifi is via an incredible $10 a month deal (cancel anytime) from US Mobile. The good news is that wifi prices will go down as the technology gets better. The bad news is that for now, customers pay on average $20 for a flight full of wifi.
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