Airline WiFi – The Best and Worst in the Sky

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airline wifi

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For those of us with loyalty to our favorite airlines, we tend to defend their features and staff. However, one feature that everyone needs and tends to be in debate is airline wifi. Lately, I’ve been seeing JetBlue Airlines retweeting TONS of people complimenting their free and fast WiFi. Researchers have put together data on who actually has the best Airline WiFi.

Airline WiFi debate – Who’s the best/worst?

Which airlines have you had good experiences with their wifi?  Which airlines have been the worst?  Let’s discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly.

No Airline WiFi

First, let’s cover the basics. Most airlines DO have in-flight wifi. However, here are just a few airlines who do NOT have it.

airline wifi
No wifi here to stream Netflix or book your next adventure.

Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and Spirit Airlines all do not have in-flight wifi.  Makes sense because Frontier and Spirit are known for being no-frills airlines that charge for everything.

Fastest Airline WiFi

Internet speed is everything. Here is a list of major airlines and where they rank on wifi speed.

airline wifi
Speed of wifi is important for streaming Netflix or other high bandwidth activity.

It’s a virtual tie between Delta, JetBlue, and Virgin America. Just remember that Virgin America will be converting to Alaska Airlines soon. I wonder how that will affect their wifi service?

Best Airline WiFi for Business Travel

Nothing is more annoying when the WiFi network is down or unable to connect. It kills me when I’m trying to be productive or stream Netflix and technical issues get in the way.

Highspeedinternet.com evaluated all of the major airline carriers and found that Virgin America is actually the most reliable! However, it does come at a pretty penny.

airline wifi
Virgin America has the most reliable wifi!

The 100% availability of Virgin America is really impressive.  And Delta Airlines is a close second.  Then there’s a big gab between 2nd and 3rd place.

Best Airline WiFi

The best airline WiFi is something difficult to pinpoint. Is best purely based on speed? Price? Reliability?

The folks at Highspeedinternet.com have evaluated that JetBlue actually has the “best” wifi based on the numbers below!

airline wifi
JetBlue comes in at #1 for best airline WiFi!

You gotta love that JetBlue’s wifi is both fast and free!  Southwest’s speed is quite a bit slower, but the price is a relative bargain at only $8.

How to avoid paying for Airline WiFi

As much as paying for WiFi seems ridiculous, the airlines have you in a bind. When you are on the ground, a local coffee shop or library is typically around the corner. In the skies, you play their game.

Here are just a few ways to avoid paying for WiFi each time you fly.

The Bald Thoughts

For business and personal travel, one could consider WiFi a necessity. Regardless, our writers at Bald Thoughts are always looking for ways to maximize our dollars. If you are traveling an airline with free wifi, great! If not, be sure to look into travel credit cards that may award you free wifi during flight.

Airline WiFi summary

Any successful/frustrating stories with internet in the sky? Let’s hear them in the comments section below!


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5 COMMENTS

  1. You need an editor here. The difference is the wifi technology supplier (e.g. Panasonic, Inmarsat, etc.) not the airline. You completely ignore that. Didn’t the grouping of bandwidths sound alarm bells?

    Also, who has Boingo in the air?

    • True, we could have dived deeper into who supplies the technology for each airline, but none of us can control which wifi supplier an airline chooses. However, we can choose the airlines we fly, so the focus of the post is on the airlines.

  2. I came to your article thinking I was going to see an analysis of which wi-fi supplier provided the fastest and most stable internet to airlines. I think that that is just as or more important than solely which airlines offer wi-fi. I would like to see your charts showing the price, the airline, speeds, and the company that provides the internet.

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