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How to Get Free WiFi in the Air

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Hurdling through the air at 500 miles per hour at an altitude of 35,000 feet is a marvel in itself, but today’s on-the-go society wants more. Airlines are responding by adding new-fangled entertainment systems and wireless internet access. But, that isn’t enough. Passengers don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it. Luckily, there are some airlines that connectivity is a modern-day necessity, not a luxury, and they provide free Internet to help pass the time. Hop aboard one of these airlines to take advantage of it and remain productive inflight.

North America

JetBlue:The largest and most famous airline to offer free broadband wireless internet fleetwide is JetBlue. This ultra-speedy connectivity is already offered to all classes of service in most of its planes. The best part is that no credit card is needed, and no clunky access codes stand in the way of you and your email.

Southwest: Southwest takes care of its most loyal fliers, A-List members, with free Wi-Fi on any equipped aircraft. With legacy airlines like Delta and United shifting to revenue-based loyalty programs and stripping benefits from elite-level fliers, Southwest stands to benefit from more business with this juicy in-flight perk.


Icelandair: Despite all of its flights crossing the ocean on either side of its island home base, a free Wi-Fi signal is available to business class passengers and elite members in the airline’s frequent-flier program, Saga Club on most of its flights.

Icelandair offers free Wi-Fi to business class passengers and elite members of its Saga Club

Norwegian: This low-cost operator is one of few frills, which is why it comes as a surprise to many that it offers free Wi-Fi for all passengers aboard its flights within Europe and between the U.S. and the Caribbean. You might have to pay for drinks and snacks, but being productive is free of charge.

Finnair: In northern Europe, Finnair is known for its ideal geographic position connecting Europe with Asia in the shortest time frame possible among its European competitors. The bonus just got even brighter aboard its Airbus A350 aircraft, which provides free wireless internet to business class passengers and elite-level frequent fliers throughout the flight.

Aer Lingus: When flying in business class on Aer Lingus’ fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft, passengers can access free Wi-Fi throughout the flight. Economy class customers can connect too, but for a fee.

Turkish Airlines: One of Europe’s largest carriers, Turkish offers free internet access for business class passengers on its Boeing 777-300 aircraft, which fly long-haul routes across the ocean from the airline’s Istanbul hub.

Middle East and Asia

Emirates: Known for luxury, especially aboard its Airbus A380s, Emirates offers up to 10MB of free wireless Internet to everyone aboard. This is plenty of bandwidth to check emails or read the news, and a faster speed costs only $1 extra, and the proceeds are donated to charity. In addition to the A380, many of its Boeing B777-300 planes offer the free Internet service, too.

Emirates offers up to 10MB of free wireless Internet to everyone aboard its Airbus A380s

Hong Kong Airlines:You may not find yourself criss-crossing the ocean on the airline’s Airbus A330-200s, but its intra-Asia and long-haul London to Hong Kong route features free wireless internet.

Garuda Indonesia: To the south of Hong Kong is SkyTeam member (and SkyTrax 5-star winner) Garuda Indonesia, which offers free wireless internet to its first-class customers aboard Boeing B777-300ER.

Nok Air: This Bangkok-based, low-cost carrier is another one of the world’s few budget airlines to offer free wireless internet. The line is becoming blurred between no frills and full-service airlines, and free Wi-Fi may be more important to many travelers than a teensy sandwich and box of juice.

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