The ReadWrite site has a nice round-up of North American carriers that offer Wi-Fi on planes, so passengers can peruse the internet. But do passengers really want to?
Airlines with Wi-Fi on All Planes
First things first, though. The good news is, most U.S. airlines offer some Wi-Fi but some have more service than others.
Airlines with Wi-Fi on Some Planes
Many if not most of these carriers say they plan to continue adding service.
- American – Wi-Fi on all 767-200 and 737 planes (and some others)
- Alaska – on most planes for flights over the lower 48 states
- Delta – Wi-Fi on most domestic flights
- Frontier – Wi-Fi on Embraer 190 planes
- Southwest – Wi-Fi on more than two-thirds of its planes, expansion continues
- United – Wi-Fi on many transcontinental flights and more is coming
- US Airways – Wi-Fi on Airbus 321s and more is coming
Also, Air Canada has some Wi-Fi but mostly on flights over the U.S.
Airline with No Wi-Fi – Yet
At the moment, JetBlue does not have Wi-Fi but it’s coming this year. As its website notes, “We’re on track to deliver the airline industry’s first inflight broadband service in Summer 2013 through a partnership with ViaSat.” FareCompare points out that despite not having Wi-Fi, JetBlue routinely tops ‘best airline’ lists, again and again. Which brings us to our next point.
Do Passengers Want Wi-Fi?
Although many passengers say they want Wi-Fi, one report estimates that only about 5% to 10% of travelers actually use it. In fact, the Australian carrier Qanta recently dropped its experimental internet service due to low demand.
Even some business travelers say no thanks to Wi-Fi. Their reasons:
- Wi-Fi on planes can be slow
- It can be relatively expensive (though prices typically start at around $6 for short flights)
- Travelers say they just want to ‘unplug’ and relax
Question to readers: Do you use Wi-Fi when flying, and why or why not?