The Complete Guide To Airlines Offering Free In-Flight Wi-Fi

by | Oct 15, 2023

Note: This post is regularly updated with the latest information.


In today’s connected world, many travelers expect to have access to Wi-Fi during their flights. While not all airlines offer Wi-Fi, there are several that do provide free in-flight Wi-Fi to passengers in various classes of service and with different restrictions on access.

The list of airlines that bundle free Wi-Fi in with your flight ticket is consistently growing and it’s likely that this will increasingly become an expectation from passengers. As the CEO of Delta, an airline that did not offer free Wi-Fi at the time (but has since introduced it) said, “I don’t know of anywhere else besides in an airplane that you can’t get free Wi-Fi.”

For this list, we focus on major airlines that either offer free Wi-Fi to all passengers or to some combination of business class or elite frequent flyers. We don’t include airlines that only provide free connectivity to transcontinental first-class passengers as most carriers with this product do.

JetBlue Airways

JetBlue was the first US airline that provides free, high-speed Wi-Fi to all of its passengers. The entire JetBlue fleet is equipped with “Fly-Fi,” in partnership with Amazon Prime, which allows passengers to stream Amazon Video and other content on their personal devices. JetBlue promises download speeds of up to 20 Mbps, faster than most other airlines.

Restrictions: None. JetBlue promises free in-flight Wi-Fi at high-speed in every seat, on every plane.

a jet blue airplane is on the runway - JetBlue offers free in-flight Wi-Fi on all flights to all passengers

Qantas

Qantas, the Oneworld member and flag carrier of Australia, offers free in-flight Wi-Fi to its passengers on domestic flights on aircraft with equipment installed. The Wi-Fi is provided by ViaSat. The airline claims that its system is capable of download speeds of up to 12 Mbps per device.

Restrictions: Wi-Fi is available on most domestic flights operated by Qantas’ Boeing 737-800 jets and Airbus A330-200s. The airline is progressively growing the fleet of Wi-Fi enabled aircraft to its fleet of B737-800 and A330-200.

white and orange Qantas Boeing 737-838 airplane takes off - Qantas offers free in-flight Wi-Fi on domestic flights

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand provides free in-flight Wi-Fi to all passengers on all enabled aircraft. The Wi-Fi is provided by Inmarsat and Panasonic Avionics. According to Executive Traveller, the Star Alliance-member airline’s download speeds on an A321neo reach a maximum of 4.7 Mbps.

Restrictions: Air New Zealand has Wi-Fi installed on all Airbus A320neo aircraft and four of its Boeing 787 aircraft. The airline is working on expanding its fleet of aircraft with Wi-Fi. To check whether your flight has Wi-Fi, look for the Wi-Fi icon next to your flight in the Air NZ app.

Air New Zealand Boeing 777-300ER in flight -- Air New Zealand offers free in-flight Wi-Fi

Japan Airlines (JAL)

Japan Airlines offers free in-flight Wi-Fi to all passengers on domestic flights and to elite frequent flyer members on international flights. The Japanese flag carrier and Oneworld member has offered free internet access on Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft across Japan starting 5 minutes after takeoff until 5 minutes before landing since 2017.

Meanwhile, on international routes, JAL offers free internet connectivity to all passengers in first class.

Restrictions: Free Wi-Fi is only available to all passengers on flights within Japan and can be signed up for easily once on-board. Elite members who have booked an international itinerary with JAL must sign up and be issued a reusable coupon code to access free internet.

Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner in the air - Japan Airlines offers free in-flight Wi-Fi on domestic flights and to frequent travelers

Emirates

Emirates offers free in-flight Wi-Fi to members of its Skywards frequent flyer program. The plan offered depends on status level and cabin of service. The free in-flight Wi-Fi, provided by OnAir, comes in two packages: one with restrictions to only certain messaging apps and an unlimited service allowing for streaming and more.

Restrictions: Emirates Skywards members with Platinum status receive free Wi-Fi on every emirates flight regardless of cabin of service. If you’re a Gold or Silver member, you will receive free Wi-Fi in business or first class. Blue members will only receive free Wi-Fi if flying in first class.

Skywards Gold members will also have access to the carrier’s “unlimited chat” plan when flying in economy class while Blue members will get free messaging in business class. Emirates does not specify a messaging allowance Silver members.

Photo of an Emirates A380 - Emirates offers free in-flight Wi-Fi to select frequent flyers

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways frequently provides unlimited free in-flight Wi-Fi to passengers who book direct on qatarairways.com on select routes. While this promotion is not currently ongoing, Qatar Airways also gives students free in-flight wifi by joining their Student Club for free. All passengers on Qatar Airways get free messaging on many routes and unlimited access (without caps) is available on most routes for $10.

Qatar Airways is also the largest airline to partner with Starlink to offer complimentary highspeed WiFi from gate to gate. The service is currently rolling out across the carrier’s fleet.

Restrictions: Qatar Airways frequently run promotions that allow passengers who book direct with the airline on its website to access free in-flight Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, it is not currently running this promotion if history is any guide, it should be back soon.

Students can get unlimited free in-flight Wi-Fi on Qatar Airways by joining the airline’s Student Club.

Qatar Airways Boeing 777 in the sky

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines offers unlimited free in-flight Wi-Fi to premium passengers traveling in Suites Class, First Class, and Business Class. Originally a trial, the Wi-Fi offer is now permanent. Passengers on Singapore Airlines get 100 mb of free in-flight Wi-Fi. PPS Club members get free unlimited Wi-Fi regardless of their travel class. Meanwhile, non-elite KrisFlyer will get 3 hours of free connectivity in premium economy and 2 hours of economy. No free Wi-Fi is provided for non-KrisFlyer members unless they’re flying in a premium cabin.

singapore airlines, a350, airbus

Hainan Airlines

Hainan Airlines offers unlimited free Wi-Fi to all passengers on its Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A350 aircraft, provided by Gogo Air.

Restrictions: There is no reported limit to the number of devices that can be connected to the Wi-Fi.

Hainan Airlines Boeing 787 in the air - Hainan offers free in-flight Wi-Fi

Nok Air

Nok Air, a low-cost carrier based in Thailand, provides free in-flight Wi-Fi to all passengers. The airline was the first in Asia to offer high-speed WiFi in the air to all of its passengers which is provided in conjunction with Thaicom.

Restrictions: Wi-Fi is only available on Nok Air’s fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, which forms the back backbone of its fleet. Still, if you’re flying on a different aircraft type, Wi-Fi will not be available.

Nok Air Boeing 737-800 - Nok Air is the first Asian carrier to offer free in-flight Wi-Fi on all enabled aircraft

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines offers free in-flight Wi-Fi on domestic flights in partnership with T-Mobile, making it the first of the 3 major U.S. airlines to do so. The service is available to Delta SkyMiles members and non-members can purchase the Wi-Fi for a flat fee of $10 per device, but they can also create a free SkyMiles onboard. The airline is upgrading its fleet with Viasat satellite antennas for faster and more reliable internet connections. Delta aims to make the service available on international flights by 2024.

Restrictions: Free Wi-Fi is only available to all passengers on flights that are Wi-Fi enabled on domestic flights.

Delta Air Lines offers free in-flight Wi-Fi to all passengers on Wi-Fi enabled domestic flights
Delta Air Lines offers free in-flight Wi-Fi to all passengers on Wi-Fi enabled domestic flights

China Southern Airlines

China Southern Airlines offers free in-flight Wi-Fi to first and business class passengers onboard Wi-Fi enabled aircraft. Wi-Fi is available for purchase for all other customers. Most of the carrier’s long-haul aircraft including Boeing 787 aircraft are Wi-Fi enabled and a large portion of its domestic fleet is as well. Passengers with a flight coming up on China Southern Airlines can check to see if their upcoming flight is on an airframe with Wi-Fi installed on their website.

Restrictions: Free Wi-Fi is only available to first and business class passengers on Wi-Fi enabled aircraft. Passengers who purchase an upgrade to first or business are excluded. Presumably, as a Chinese airline, China Southern restricts the sites that passengers can visit.

China Southern Boeing 787-9 on final approach to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport - China Southern offers free in-flight Wi-Fi to premium passengers

China Eastern Airlines

China Eastern Airlines introduced free in-flight Wi-Fi to passengers as a “test” back in 2016 but it’s been available off and on for several years. Unfortunately, there’s an extremely convoluted process to access it. Customers have to apply for the service with 100 passengers allowed per flight on a first come, first served basis. The Sky Team-member makes the service available for mobile phones, laptops, and other devices.

Restrictions: You have to apply and get approved for it prior to your flight. Befitting a company based in China where the Communist Party’s imposes a “Great Firewall” China Eastern blocks access to many popular sites onboard.

China Eastern Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner - China Eastern offers free in-flight Wi-Fi using a convoluted system

Philippine Airlines

Philippine Airlines provides free in-flight Wi-Fi to all passengers, but with limitations. All customers can access the company’s myPAL hotspot with a complimentary chat plan of 3 MB, which does not support videos or photos. Business class passengers are given an additional 100 MB.

Restrictions: Philippine Airlines’ “free” Wi-Fi actually comes with steep time and usage limits, even for business class passengers. Further, the service is only available on a limited number of aircraft.

Philippine Airlines Airbus A320s tails at Ninoy Aquino Manila International Airport

Aer Lingus

Ireland’s flag carrier, Aer Lingus, offers free in-flight Wi-Fi to all business class passengers and some of its elite frequent flyers across its network. The carrier has Wi-Fi and 5G connectivity enabled aboard Airbus A330 aircraft while only Wi-Fi is enabled on Airbus A321neoLR aircraft.

Restrictions: Aer Lingus only offers business class on select routes and it’s limited to business class passengers and Concierge elite members of its AerClub frequent-flyer program.

Aer Lingus A320 in the air - Aer Lingus provides free in-flight Wi-Fi to business class passengers

Finnair

Finnair offers free in-flight Wi-Fi to passengers flying in business class and to some elite members of its Finnair Plus frequent flyer program depending on the flight. The Oneworld member and flag carrier of Finland has in-flight Wi-Fi enabled on all Airbus aircraft which is the lion’s share of its fleet.

Restrictions: Business class and Finnair Plus Gold elite members get one hour of free in-flight Wi-Fi on long-haul flights. Finnair Plus Platinum elite members get free in-flight Wi-Fi for the entire flight. On short-haul flights, business class passengers and Finnair Plus Gold and Platinum elites get free in-flight Wi-Fi for 30 minutes onboard.

A Finnair A350 in the air - Finnair offers some frequent flyers and premium passengers free in-flight Wi-Fi

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines now offers free in-flight messaging to all passengers on international flights on Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft with premium passengers and elite members of Miles&Smiles getting more access to the internet. Turkey’s flag carrier which flies to more countries than any other airline has in-flight Wi-Fi enabled on over 220 aircraft (with Wi-Fi being added over time to more aircraft) flying international routes.

Restrictions: Business class passengers with Miles&Smiles Elite or Elite Plus Membership get unlimited internet throughout their flight. Business class passengers without elite status with Miles&Smiles get 1 GB of free internet access. Miles&Smiles Elite or Elite Plus members not flying in business class get 400MB of data plus unlimited messaging while “Classic Plus” members get 250MB with unlimited messaging. All Miles&Smiles members (you can sign up in-flight if not already a member) get unlimited messaging included.

Turkish Airlines Boeing 737 800 - free in-flight wi-fi

Bottom line

While not all airlines offer free Wi-Fi, there are several options available for travelers who want to stay connected while in the air. From JetBlue’s unlimited, high-speed Wi-Fi to China Eastern’s convoluted offering and many carriers who only offer free in-flight Wi-Fi to select passengers, there is a range of options to suit different needs and preferences.

It’s important to note that while we do our best to keep this list up-to-date, airline policies are frequently changing. It is always a good idea to check with the airline beforehand to determine which Wi-Fi options are available and if there are any limitations. And when it comes to free in-flight Wi-Fi, you get what you (don’t) pay for: the quality may vary dramatically between carriers and routes.

Giovanni Hashimoto

Giovanni Headshot - free in-flight wi-fi

Giovanni Hashimoto is editor of Travel Spill. He's a growth hacking consultant and an expert in maximizing credit card rewards and loyalty programs. Giovanni grew up as a third-culture kid and is a citizen of the United States, Japan, and Italy. He's now a digital nomad who's visited over 65 countries, often leveraging points and miles to improve his travel experience.

Giovanni Hashimoto is editor of Travel Spill. He's a growth hacking consultant and an expert in maximizing credit card rewards and loyalty programs. Giovanni grew up as a third-culture kid and is a citizen of the United States, Japan, and Italy. He's now a digital nomad who's visited over 65 countries, often leveraging points and miles to improve his travel experience.
All posts by Giovanni Hashimoto

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