Accessing Wi-Fi on an airplane typically entails paying a premium price that many travelers cannot reasonably justify. The prospect of free Wi-Fi on an airplane is enough to sway your decision when choosing an airline. Luckily, many airlines have expanded to offer free Wi-Fi on most flights, but there are typically caveats.
The growing trend of free Wi-Fi on flights continues to rise, including major airlines like Jet Blue and Delta. Most airlines that offer free Wi-Fi require you to enroll in their frequent flyer programs to earn the benefits, but these programs are typically free, and the rewards are worthwhile. Free Wi-Fi on flights is common outside of the United States with airlines like Nok Air providing access throughout Thailand.
Some airlines, such as Philippines Airlines, offer free Wi-Fi for 30 minutes on some flights, but this typically only applies to international flights. Others, like Air New Zealand, offer free Wi-Fi on some flights and will hopefully expand throughout 2023 and 2024. However, 5 airlines stand out for offering free Wi-Fi on nearly all the flights they offer.
1. Delta Air Lines
Since January, Delta Air Lines has offered free Wi-Fi on most domestic fights. They plan to expand the offering to include international flights throughout 2024. However, you can only access free Wi-Fi through Delta if you are involved in their frequent flyer plan.
They partnered with T-Mobile to provide the smoothest Wi-Fi experience possible. This may be a new development, but their status as a premier airline is a sign of other major airlines like Southwest following suit soon.
2. Jet Blue
Jet Blue has offered free Wi-Fi since 2013, and they were the first airline to do so. Over time, they have stepped up and included free Wi-Fi on most domestic flights as well as many international flights. You aren’t guaranteed to get free Wi-Fi, but you can count on getting access on most domestic flights and even many flights to Latin America and Europe.
3. Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines has provided Wi-Fi to first-class and premium cabin passengers for a while. However, they have recently expanded to offer free Wi-Fi on all flights no matter what tickets and seats you have. The rollout may take a while as they update and integrate the new Wi-Fi offering into all their planes.
However, you should find free Wi-Fi on all Singapore Airlines flights throughout 2023 once you join their frequent flyer program.
4. Norwegian Airlines
Not only is Norwegian Airlines one of the most affordable airlines, but they also offer free Wi-Fi on most of their flights. You can access free Wi-Fi on most short European flights, and they offer free Wi-Fi on many trans-Atlantic flights as well. The service may not be the fastest for their free Wi-Fi plan, but you can upgrade to get faster speeds and unlimited access for $14.95.
5. Qatar Airways
While Qatar Airways doesn’t offer unlimited Wi-Fi, you can get access to free Wi-Fi for an hour on most flights. If an hour isn’t enough, you can always pay an additional $8 to get unlimited access during your flight. You must sign up for their frequent flyer program to access free Wi-Fi, however.
A Brighter Future
The pool of airlines that offer free Wi-Fi may be small for now, but this rising trend provides hope that it will become the standard one day. Jet Blue and Delta Air Lines stepping up and offering free Wi-Fi instill hope that Southwest and American Airlines will follow suit. Make sure to check with your airline to see if you are entitled to free Wi-Fi, and what you need to do to qualify for it.