In-flight Wi-Fi: Here's How Much It Costs to Connect on 20 Top Airlines

Learn how you can stay connected whether you’re flying for business or pleasure.
Last updated May 27, 2020 | By Robin Kavanagh
Woman using laptop on plane

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You’re getting ready for your next trip and starting to plan for how you’re going to occupy yourself on your hours-long flight. You pull up Google and search, “Does Southwest have Wi-Fi?” Streaming episodes of your favorite Netflix show is your go-to for killing some time, so why not see if you can do it while you’re en-route to your destination?

If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Accessing the internet while streaking through the clouds has become more and more common, so much so that travelers are looking for flights that will allow them to text, browse, stream, and buy from their favorite connected device. For travelers like you, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to which major airlines offer Wi-Fi and where you can find the best deals on access.

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Which airlines offer in-flight Wi-Fi — and how much does it cost?

Like Wi-Fi reception can often be, the quality and offers of in-flight Wi-Fi can vary from provider to provider. Here is a list of 20 major national and international carriers and what you can expect for Wi-Fi offerings and prices.

Carrier In-flight Wi-Fi offered? Cost of in-flight Wi-Fi
Air China Yes Information not listed on Air China site
Air France—KLM Yes Message Pass - free

Surf Pass -

  • €3 for the entire duration of the trip on short-haul flights
  • €5 for the entire duration of the trip on medium-haul flights
  • €8 (2,700 Miles), for one hour or €18 (6,000 Miles) for the entire duration of the trip on long-haul flights
Stream pass - €30
Alaska Airlines Yes. Most planes are equipped with Gogo ATG4 access. Some have Gogo 2Ku satellite Wi-Fi. Prices range from $1.95 to $49.95 inflight. The following are prices for purchasing pre-flight passes through Gogo.

  • 1-hour pass: $7 on domestic flights
  • All-day pass: $19 on domestic flights
  • Monthly subscription plan: $49.95 (1 device) and $59.95 (2 devices) on domestic flights
  • Annual airline plan: $599 on domestic flights

You can connect to Alaska Airlines Wi-Fi and take advantage of their free texting option, which works with iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) Yes Certain ANA flights are equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi. For flights that have Wi-Fi connectivity, First class passengers get unlimited access for free. Pricing for all other passengers is as follows, and pricing varies based on the type of Wi-Fi connectivity on a particular flight:

  • 30-minute* plan - $6.95
  • 3-hour* plan - $16.95
  • Full-flight plan (max. 24 hours) - $21.95

*Fair use limits apply.

Or:

  • 30-minute plan - $4.95 *15MB limit
  • 1-hour plan - $8.95 *30MB limit
  • Full flight plan - $19.95 *100MB limit
American Airlines Yes Most American Airlines flights in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico use Gogo and Viasat for in-flight Wi-Fi. The company website says almost all routes have Wi-Fi access starting at $10. There is also a one-device monthly plan for $49.95 available through Gogo and a two-device plan for $59.95. These plans don’t apply to flights that use Panasonic Wi-Fi services.
British Airways Yes

British Airways began offering Wi-Fi service in 2018, with a goal of having most eligible aircraft equipped by the end of 2020.

You are notified of availability after you board, and prices start at £4.99.

Cathay Pacific Yes on Airbus A350 planes, with more being added to Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft. You can check if your flight has Wi-Fi using the website’s Flight Status tool. Certain Cathay Pacific flights are equipped with Wi-Fi access. Here’s how much it costs to connect:

  • $12.95 on flights 6 hours or less
  • $19.95 on flights 6 hours or more
  • $9.95 for one hour of use on any flight
Delta Yes Nearly all planes are equipped with Wi-Fi access through Gogo.

  • North America day pass: $16 when purchased before the flight
  • Delta Global day pass: $28 on any equipped flight and can be used on multiple flights
  • North America monthly pass: $49.95
  • North America annual pass: $599.99

You can connect to Delta Wi-Fi and take advantage of their free texting option, which works with iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp.

Emirates Yes For Emirates Skywards members, the cost and Wi-Fi packages vary by membership tier and route:

  • Blue, Silver, Gold, Platinum members get free unlimited Wi-Fi in First and Business class
  • Gold and Platinum members get free unlimited Wi-Fi in Economy class

For non-members, cost and Wi-Fi options vary by route. No further information is available on the Emirates website.

Finnair Yes Within Europe and the Middle East:

  • Business class: Free for 30 minutes, then €4.95 to €6.95 for browsing and €9.95 to €12.95 for streaming.
  • All other classes: €4.95 to €6.95 for browsing and €9.95 to €12.95 for streaming.

Within Finland, Scandinavia, and Baltic Countries:

  • Business class: Free for 30 minutes, then €4.95 for browsing and €9.95 for streaming.
  • All other classes: €4.95 for browsing and €9.95 for streaming.

To and From Asia North America, Havana, Puerto Plata:

  • Business class: 1 free hour and €7.95 to €19.95 after
  • All other classes: €7.95 to €19.95
JetBlue Yes Free on all flights for all classes of ticket.
Korean Air No Plans to outfit the fleet with Wi-Fi access was announced in June 2019.
Lufthansa Yes Short/medium-haul FlyNet mail and surf:

  • €3 on flights less than 1 hour
  • €5 on flights 1 to 2 hours
  • €7 on flights longer than 2 hours

Short/medium-haul FlyNet stream:

  • €7 on flights less than 1 hour
  • €10 on flights 1 to 2 hours
  • €12 on flights longer than 2 hours

Long haul FlyNet chat: €7

FlyNet mail and surf: €17

FlyNet mail and surf plus: €29

Norwegian Air Yes on select flights. Free for all passengers to use for browsing, email, and messaging. For streaming, and faster browsing, you can purchase 3 hours of premium access to faster Wi-Fi for $14.95.
Qantas Yes on select Australian domestic flights Free
Qatar Airways Yes. Some flights offer standard Wi-Fi through OnAir. Some offer faster, satellite-based Super Wi-Fi. Free on some flights booked through QatarAirways.com.

The airline website doesn’t provide details about its rates for accessing in-flight Wi-Fi. However, several online sources report that passengers get 30 minutes of access to OnAir Wi-Fi and 60 minutes of Super Wi-Fi for free. After that, you’re prompted to choose a plan that can cost between $10 and $20.

Ryanair No Ryanair executives have no plans to add in-flight Wi-Fi to their aircraft.
Southwest Yes $8 for all-day access to Wi-Fi on enabled plane

Free for A-List Preferred Members

United Yes on all United and two-cabin United Express aircraft United uses Gogo, Panasonic, Thales, and ViaSat services to provide in-flight Wi-Fi. Prices and providers vary from flight to flight. United also offers the following subscription options.

  • Monthly subscription plan: $49.95 for North and Central America and $69.95 for international flights
  • Annual airline plan: $539 for North and Central America and $689 for international flights
Virgin Atlantic Yes Pricing starts at £2.99 and can go as high as £14.99.

Credit cards that come with an in-flight Wi-Fi perk

Just like some travel credit cards offer miles, points, and credits for flying, some also offer free Wi-Fi access as a special perk. If staying connected is an important part of your travel experience, not having to pay for service can be a big advantage for you.

Most of the free Wi-Fi benefits are for access to either Gogo or Boingo, both of which are popular service providers for airlines. Check which service your preferred airline uses before looking into which cards might be right for you. Each service has its own merits, but for the sake of our guide, both are equally good choices.

If you have an American Express card or have heard about American Express’s free Wi-Fi benefits for its Business Platinum card, those days are over as of Jan. 1, 2020. They have severed their contracts with both Boingo and Gogo to provide complimentary access to these services. Here are some alternatives to consider.

Card name Wi-Fi perk details Annual fee
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa 12 free passes to access Gogo Wi-Fi annually $400
HSBC Premier World Mastercard Unlimited access to Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots around the world $95 (waived first year)
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard Unlimited access to Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots around the world. $395
Southwest Performance Business Card Statement credits to reimburse for Wi-Fi purchases on Southwest Airlines flights paid with this card. There is a limit of 365 $8-credits per year. $199
UBS Visa Infinite 12 free passes to access Gogo Wi-Fi annually $495

The final word on in-flight Wi-Fi

Airline Wi-Fi is a must for most business travelers and a nice add-on for those who fly for pleasure. There are lots of things you can do before leaving for the airport that will keep you entertained and engaged while offline on your flight. However, if you can get the Wi-Fi for free, why not go for it?

Some of the airlines on our list offer Wi-Fi prices low enough that adding them into your travel budget is no biggie. Whether you pay or not, you now have the information you need to shop specific carriers and research travel credit cards. Now it’s up to you to decide what works best for how you travel.

Special Perks for Business Owners

Benefits

  • Up to 100,000 bonus point sign-up offer
  • 3X points on Southwest Airlines purchases
  • Inflight Wi-Fi credits
  • No foreign transaction fees