Here’s What Wi-Fi Costs on Major Airlines

Wifi on Plane

It wasn’t really all that long ago that the very idea of using Wi-Fi on an airplane was absolutely absurd. However, things change rapidly with respect to this type of technology. These days, Wi-Fi isn’t just a luxury. It’s considered by most to be a basic necessity. After all, it is the way that people communicate with virtually everyone else around the world. You may not always be able to call or text someone, but there is every chance that you will be able to post something on social media and get through to the individual or individuals that you need to get information to. However, you can’t do any of that if you don’t have Wi-Fi or some type of self-contained system that allows you to get this information out there. Traditionally, that has been a problem while you’re in flight. Major airlines are looking to change that. That means that Wi-Fi is available for purchase on most airlines but if you’re wondering how much it’s going to cost you, you should know up front that there is no simple answer to this question because every airline has their own methods for accessing it as well as their own price points.

An Ever-Changing World

The thing you have to recognize here is that things are constantly changing with regard to what major airlines are charging for Wi-Fi. Delta has been one of the more progressive airlines in this particular area. Recently, they did a test where they allowed people to access free Wi-Fi on their flights for a period of two weeks. They were trying to figure out how that might work as part of their flight service as opposed to charging their patrons more money in order to allow them to access Wi-Fi while on a flight. It’s really nothing to get too terribly excited over, as it was nothing more than an experiment. However, it does mean that there is a possibility that this could become part of their regular service at some point in the future. At the moment, you have to understand that every airline charges a different rate. Almost all of the major airlines have different plans that you can purchase as part of your ticket. For example, you can usually purchase one hour of Wi-Fi for less than $10. American Airlines charges the highest rate here, with their price coming in at $10.99. Most of the other major airlines charge somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 to $7 for an hour of Wi-Fi. Of course, you can also purchase a more inclusive plan that allows you to access Wi-Fi throughout the entire flight. Again, this is fairly economical. In almost every case, you’ll pay less than $25 for this type of access. All of the major airlines are charging somewhere between $21 and $25 for it at this particular point in time. That’s great if you only fly occasionally, yet you want to be able to access social media or check emails throughout the duration of your flight. What about individuals who fly on a regular basis? If you fly enough to make it worth your while, most major airlines allow you to purchase an annual pass for unlimited Wi-Fi access any time you fly. Typically, these packages are somewhat pricey. Almost all of them are between $500 and $600. That said, it might be more economical to purchase an annual pass if you fly all the time, as it doesn’t take that many $25 charges to exceed this particular amount. If you find yourself on an airplane several times a month, you might end up paying a lot more if you’re paying for unlimited Wi-Fi with each individual flight.

Some Things You Should Know

Of course, there are some things that you should know before you get too terribly excited over the idea of being able to peruse your social media platforms throughout the duration of your flight. For starters, it doesn’t always work. While there have been tremendous advances in both speed and reliability when it comes to using Wi-Fi on the ground, it’s not always so advanced when you’re using it at 39,000 feet in traveling 600 miles per hour. In fact, things can get sketchy depending on exactly where your flight is taking place. Sometimes, other things such as the time of day or weather conditions have an impact on its reliability. Obviously, all of your Wi-Fi is bounced off of a satellite when you’re accessing in-flight Wi-Fi. You might think that this would make it more reliable, but it’s important to remember that your cell phone calls are largely bounced between towers and satellites as well. If you’ve ever gotten away from the middle of a major city and tried to make a call, you might be surprised at just how unreliable this technology still is. It’s even more unreliable when it involves a moving object. That’s something that you should remember before you start forking over $500 in order to get an unlimited annual pass, only to find out that you’ve just paid for something that you can’t even use.

Is It Worth It?

At this point, you’re probably asking yourself whether or not it’s worth it to pay for in-flight Wi-Fi at all. That is an important question to ask, whether you’re talking about this or anything else that you’re thinking about spending money on. In reality, it comes down to what you intend to use the Wi-Fi for and how important it is to you that you be able to access it while you are in flight. If it’s essential to your work or you’re desperately trying to stay connected to someone until you can land at your destination because of health concerns or something similar, then it’s probably worth the asking price and then some. Otherwise, you might want to rethink things before you break out your wallet. When it’s all said and done, you have to decide if you want to be connected to your electronic devices while you’re flying or if you can use that time to take a break from them. Every person is going to answer that question differently. For now, it’s imperative that you know every airline has individual fees that vary frequently. If you’re interested in accessing in-flight Wi-Fi, it’s important that you inquire about the charges with the particular airline you’re thinking about flying with.

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