With inflight WiFi having become a common feature on airplanes flying around the world – this is how much each of the five biggest U.S. airlines are charging to connect to their onboard WiFi.
At this moment in time, there is only one U.S. airline that offers FREE high-speed WiFi to passengers on board all of its flights – with that being the major American low-cost airline, JetBlue.
So, what about the other major airlines throughout the United States?
Well, throughout this article we are going to take a look at the five biggest U.S. airlines to see how much they are currently charging passengers to connect to their onboard WiFi.
American Airlines offers Wi-Fi on almost all of its flights – with it even possible to access high-speed Wi-Fi on some domestic routes – allowing you to stream your favorite series or watch the latest box office release on your laptop or mobile device, whilst sitting more than 30,000 feet in the sky.
Here is all you need to know about the available WiFi on board an American Airlines flight – including information on how much it is likely to cost you to connect.
Firstly, WiFi is available on nearly all American Airline routes – with prices starting from as low $10.
American Airlines uses three WiFi providers to allow passengers access to the internet on board their flights. These are Gogo and Viasat – which are used on domestic flights – and Panasonic is the provider used on board international routes.
You can purchase the WiFi that suits your browsing or streaming needs once on board your flight – with it possible to choose a plan that will give you internet access for one, two or four hours, or for the entirety of your flight.
Prices vary depending on your flight route and the WiFi service provider on board, however, it is possible to purchase hourly access from $10.
In order to have access to onboard WiFi for the duration of your flight, you’ll be looking at a cost of between $16 – $19 – depending on your route.
American Airlines offers two monthly subscriptions – which are great for those who regularly fly with the airline.
The cost for a monthly description is $49.95 – which will give you unlimited access to WiFi on board most domestic flights, as well as routes between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.
If you are wanting to connect to the onboard WiFi using two devices – for example, connecting your laptop and your mobile phone at the same time – then you will need to purchase a 2-device subscription at a cost of $59.95.
It is important to note, however, that your monthly WiFi subscription will not provide you with access to American Airlines international WiFi services – which are operated by Panasonic.
Although Delta offers passengers the opportunity to message on board their flights using messaging services such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and iMessage for FREE, you will need to pay in order to connect to WiFi for internet browsing and streaming.
Again, Delta is an airline that offers passengers the opportunity to connect to WiFi on board most of its flights – with the company using two internet service providers to make this possible.
These are Gogo and Viasat.
So, how much does it cost to connect to Delta’s onboard WiFi?
It was only a few months ago that Delta announced that they were to allow passengers the opportunity to connect to their onboard WiFi for just $5 for the entire duration of their flight.
However, this offer is only currently available on board Delta flights that operate Viasat-enabled WiFi – which accounts for around 50% of the airline’s domestic routes.
If you’re flying domestically with Delta – but not on a plane that features WiFi provided by Viasat – the price of a flight-pass giving you access to onboard WiFi is likely to vary, depending on your route.
The same goes for Delta’s international routes – with the cost of a flight-pass varying depending on the flight’s route and duration.
For those that fly on a regular basis with Delta, though, it may be worth investing in one of the airline’s monthly plans – with there being two to choose from.
Firstly, you have Delta’s monthly domestic plan – which once subscribed to will provide you with access to onboard WiFi on flights routes from within the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The cost of this package is $49.95 – which will automatically renew each month until you cancel.
Alternatively, if you regularly fly internationally with Delta, then their monthly global plan may be best suited for you.
The cost of this is $69.95 – and once subscribed you will have access to WiFi on board all WiFi-enabled Delta Flights – wherever you are flying to in the world.
Click here to find out more about the WiFi services available from Delta – including information on how to subscribe to their monthly WiFi plans.
Although Southwest Airlines does allow you to connect to their onboard WiFi for FREE in order to stream and watch a range of television channels, as well as access a library of episodes from a variety of tv shows and series – you will need to pay in order to access the internet.
However, the cost of this will not set you back too much – with a payment of just $8 needing to be made in order to have unlimited access to the internet for the duration of your Southwest flight.
And, for Southwest’s A-List preferred members you won’t have to pay a thing – with FREE access to onboard WiFi being part of your membership benefits.
If you are just wanting to message throughout your flight – using messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger – and are not looking to browse the internet, then you can also purchase a ‘messaging’ package on board for just $2.
Again, it is possible to send and receive messages – using mobile apps such as WhatsApp and iMessage – for FREE when flying on most routes with United Airlines.
However, if you are wanting to do a bit more than just message – and are looking to browse the internet or stream your favorite movie or tv series, then you will need to purchase an onboard WiFi package that suits your needs and requirements.
Firstly, it is important to note that United uses four different WiFi service providers – which make it possible for passengers to connect to the world wide web when on board their flights.
These are Gogo, Panasonic, Thales and ViaSat – click here to find out more about the WiFi coverage of each of these service providers.
So, how much does it cost to purchase WiFi on board a United Airlines flight?
There are actually a number of ways to purchase onboard WiFi with United – with it possible to buy a pre-flight day-pass, subscribe to a monthly or yearly WiFi plan, or alternatively you can pay to access the internet once you’re on board your flight.
Firstly, if you are looking to plan ahead and wish to purchase a WiFi Day Pass before your flight, you can do so from as little as $8 on regional flights and $10 on domestic flights.
If you are a United MileagePlus member, however, the cost is $8 for both regional and domestic flights.
The price for purchasing WiFi packages on board international flights will vary depending on the route.
Alternatively, if you are a frequent flyer with United then it may be worth spending a little more at that ‘one time’ to purchase one of the airline’s monthly or yearly subscription packages.
The cost of these packages are as follows:
- Regional and Domestic Monthly WiFi Subscription – $49
- Regional and Domestic Yearly WiFi Subscription – $539
- Global Monthly WiFi Subscription – $69
- Globally Yearly WiFi Subscription – $689
It is also possible for MileagePlus members to use their membership points to subscribe to the above packages.
At this moment in time, Alaska is offering ‘streaming-fast satellite’ WiFi on board 80% of its planes – which passengers can connect to for just $8 for the duration of their flight.
And, although some of the aircraft that make up the remaining 20% of Alaska’s fleet of aircraft do not offer any internet access whatsoever, the majority do – at least providing passengers with the option of connecting to their basic WiFi service.
For E175 aircrafts that feature the airline’s basic WiFi service – the cost to connect is also $8.
However, for 737 aircrafts that feature basic WiFi, the cost of connecting to this will vary – depending on the flight route.
Unlike the airline’s ‘streaming-fast satellite’ WiFi, the basic internet service does not allow the option to stream or download large files and attachments.
If you’re just looking to stay connected with friends and family on the ground – and only wish to send and receive messages using the likes of WhatsApp, iMessage and Facebook Messenger – you are able to do this for FREE, and without having to purchase WiFi access.
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