Airlines plan to add faster Wi-Fi on fleets

August 28, 2014 |

Wireless Internet will soon become more widely available and of better quality on flights.

Airline Internet provider Gogo recently announced it plans to increase bandwidth 70 megabits per second on 800 planes. According to Travel + Leisure, Gogo services are currently found on nine airlines in North America,  including American Airways, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines. The new bandwidth will allow passengers to stream high-definition movies and surf the Internet.

Travel + Leisure also said that carrier JetBlue launched Fly-Fi on a portion of its fleet. Connecting to the 20-plus megabits per second services is free but costs $9 per hour if travelers want to stream video. The airline plans to have all of Fly-Fi installed on all of its Airbus A320s by early next year.

International carriers are also getting in on the Wi-Fi action. According to the source, All Nippon, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines are just three of the international airlines that recently added OnAir. Singapore Airlines added Wi-Fi to its Airbus A340s, A380s and Boeing 777-300ERs. The cost for one hour of Wi-Fi onboard a Singapore Airlines flight is $12.

Inmarsat is a U.K. company that plans to offer the first ground-based Internet in Europe alongside British Airways. The source stated that its 4G broadband network is expected to launch by the end of 2016. Speeds for the Wi-Fi will be in excess of 70 megabits per second.

US airlines with Wi-Fi

There are a number of U.S carriers that provide travelers with Wi-Fi. According to Fare Compare, AirTran, Alaska, Frontier, Southwest and Virgin America are other airlines that offer Internet to fliers. 

Price ranges for wireless Internet on AirTran flights are between $14 and $49 for an all-day pass to unlimited use. Day passes on Alaska Airlines flights can be as low as $1.95 and Frontier offers a monthly pass for $24.95.

Travelers with Apple users can text from their phones when they pay $2 to use iMessage, a texting installed on Apple products, on Southwest flights. Wi-Fi costs $8 per day and an additional $5 per movie.

Price ranges for Wi-Fi on Virgin America flights is between $4.95 and $34.95