How does WiFi even work on the plane?
Do you dread the lack of internet while in the air, especially during a long flight? According to this research, 54% of passengers deem broadband connectivity to be more important than meals - more than half of us are more hungry for the internet than for food!
Luckily, here’s a piece of good news: many airlines have since started to offer internet to travelers during their flights. Read on to find out all there is to know about internet on the plane!
How does it work?
Enjoy internet access while exploring the skies at a height of 30,000 feet and above.
How is that even possible?
Basically, we use two types of internet connections while on the plane. When flying above the seas, satellite connection is available through the network of orbiting satellites nearby, allowing conversion into a WiFi signal within the aircraft. Conversely, air-to-ground based networks are used instead when flying above land, sending signals into the aircraft from cell tower transmitters.
How is the quality of the internet?
What about the internet speed? Internet speed found aboard planes is definitely not as fast as on land, but you can still use it to continue text conversations, engage in email correspondences and even idly scroll through Instagram. Unfortunately, tasty Netflixing is not yet available for many airlines, although some do offer stream packages. Yet, since 75% of passengers do not mind a slow WiFi connection, so long as it remains reliable, it seems like most of us will be satisfied as long as our Facebook timeline is able to load with our favorite memes.
How can I see if there is WiFi during my flight?
When searching for flights, BudgetAir.com will indicate if there is internet available onboard your flight. In the flight search results, you can view the in-flight services offered for each available flight in your selected route. In addition to WiFi availability (indicated by the network symbol in the middle), the amount of legroom provided is also displayed.
Likewise, you can check if there is an in-flight entertainment system, an outlet or USB connection and if in-flight meals would be catered during your flight.
Which airlines offer WiFi on board?
In response to this growing demand of having the world at our fingertips, many airlines have started to offer in-flight WiFi services. Below, you will find a small selection out of the many other airlines that offer in-flight WiFi, either for free or for a fee. Do remember to check in advance through the website of the airline you are flying with for WiFi availability!
Recognized as the World’s Best Airline in 2018, Singapore’s flag carrier is not without its world class amenities. Priced WiFi plans are readily available and complimentary WiFi sessions are given to Business, Suites and First Class travelers, as well as PPS Club members.
This giant of an airline offers in-flight WiFi on many flights. Currently, all travellers can enjoy up to 20MB of free WiFi within two hours of logging in to their network. On the other hand, upon logging in with their membership number, Emirates Skywards members get to enjoy either free WiFi or lower priced data plans, depending on their member tier and cabin class. Members travelling in Business or First Class are entitled to unlimited in-flight WiFi, a true luxury!
You can also use in-flight WiFi when flying with Turkish Airlines, albeit for a fee. If you have a short flight, you can opt for the WiFi package that charges per hour. Alternatively, passengers onboard longer flights can choose the 24 hour package. For those flying in Business Class or are a Miles & Smiles Elite or Elite Plus member, you can enjoy the WiFi service for free.
If you fly with United Airlines, you can pay for the use of in-flight WiFi while onboard. You can even purchase a UA onboard WiFi subscription if you wish to! Frequent fliers can opt for the yearly subscriptions for either America regional flights or international flights.
Note: United Airlines has restrictions on their support for selected streaming services (Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, HBO, etc.) and WiFi provision when flying over certain regions.
As Germany’s flag carrier, Lufthansa offers in-flight WiFi on both long and short flights. Onboard short haul flights, you can select from three types of internet services: Flynet Message, Surf or Stream, all differing in speed and streaming service access. On long haul flights, passengers can choose from yet another 3 kinds of internet services: Flynet Chat, Mail & Surf or Mail & Surf Plus, all differing in speed and streaming service access as well. Members have the choice to pay with Miles too!
Do you belong to the 54% who prefer the Internet over a meal while flying? Now you know which airlines to look out for! Ready to go? Book your flight with BudgetAir.com today.