Onboard Wi-Fi is readily becoming available. Most of the national carriers have equipped their aircraft with Wi-Fi capabilities, and we're now seeing the service become available on regional and international airlines. A recent status update of airline Wi-Fi services shows that many airlines have made the decision to update their entire fleet of aircraft with Wi-Fi equipment. Others are still not fully onboard, but have chosen to test Wi-Fi on certain aircraft or routes.
The price of airborne Wi-Fi varies depending on the package the customer purchases, but can range from $5-$15 per day, or $30-50 per month on appropriately equipped aircraft.
Gogo packages are available for direct purchase via gogoair.com:
- $12.70 -- 24 hours of in-flight internet access
- $34.95 -- Monthly unlimited access on a single airline
- $39.95 -- Monthly unlimited access on any Gogo partner airline
Row 44 only sells service through individual airlines. Here's a list of specific airline Wi-Fi costs by airline:
- Air Canada:
$9.95 per flight for a laptop
$7.95 per flight for a handheld device
Gogo service is available for purchase through the gogoair.com. See prices above.
- Alaska Airlines:
Alaska is offering 15 free minutes on Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi during the summer of 2012. Otherwise, standard rates and packages are available from gogoair.com.
- American Airlines:
Specials: On American, you can often purchase internet specials. For example, American Airlines is currently running a summer special with two special package options: The "Firecracker 2-Pack" gives you two passes for $14.95, while the "Summer Fun 3-Pack" gives you 3 passes for the summer for $19.95. Outside of these specials, prices are as follows:
15-minute Wi-Fi pass = $1.95 (flights less than 650 miles.) Single Flight Pass = $4.95- $17.95, based on specific markets.
15-minute mobile Wi-Fi = $1.95 (flights from 0-1150 miles) Single Flight Pass = $4.95-$9.95
Gogo plans are also available through gogoair.com for monthly passes. See above for pricing.
Delta offers a 24-hours pass for $12 through Gogo, and an annual pass for $399.95. Gogo's standard packages are also available on gogoair.com.
Frontier offers passes directly from Gogo's website, gogoair.com. See above for pricing details.
- Southwest Airlines:
Internet access is available on board SWA flights for $5 per day. So far, there is no word on any other package deals for frequent flyers.
Inflight Wi-Fi is available from Gogo. For standard rates, see above.
- US Airways:
Fees for full internet access on Gogo start at $4.95. US Airways offers shopping, flight tracking, news and entertainment for free of charge via a limited connection.
- Virgin America:
$4.95 for flights 1.5 hours or less
$9.95 for flights 1.5 - 3 hours
$17.95 for flights more than 3 hours
$34.95 pass is available from gogoair.com for use on any Gogo equipped planes.
$4.95 for flights less than 1.5 hours
$7.95 for all flights of 1.5 hours and more
OnAir provides in-flight Wi-Fi service to Emirates' A380s. The price is $7.50 for a mobile device and $15 for a laptop. Though the time limitations aren't known at the time of press, the company's website says the package allows for sufficient internet service for long-haul flights.
FlyNet onboard Wi-Fi service is billed by Deutsche Telecom. You can get a 1-hour pass for EUR 10.95, or a 24-hour pass for EUR 19.95. Lufthansa Miles & More passengers can exchange miles for internet service.
- Norwegian Air Shuttle:
Norwegian Air Shuttle is offering FREE Wi-Fi Access via Row 44. The airline has offered the service for free since the trial stages, and hasn't given a date or time period for which they may start charging.
Wi-Fi service is available on some A380s as part of a trial period. Some customers may receive a free voucher, while others will pay the charge during the trial period. A cost list has not yet been publicly provided, but rumor has it the airline will not charge business class or first class passengers for the service, up to a certain data limit.
- Qatar Airways:
Wi-Fi is available for mobile devices through OnAir and is on Qatar's Airbus A320 aircraft. Customers are charged international mobile phone roaming rates while using Mobile OnAir service.