Wi-Fi on Flights Is More Common Than Ever

Routehappy’s 2018 Wi-Fi Report analyzes how Wi-Fi access is no longer an anomaly on flights By: Valerie Chen
Airlines are making it easier than ever for fliers to stay connected. // © 2018 Getty Images
Airlines are making it easier than ever for fliers to stay connected. // © 2018 Getty Images

The Details

What:
Routehappy has released its annual Routehappy 2018 Wi-Fi Report, which includes key findings from an analysis on all flights worldwide taking place on a typical weekday.

Why It Matters:
Technology — and with it, the passenger experience — continues to be a priority for airlines, especially the ability to stay connected while in the sky. The report reveals that Wi-Fi access while onboard is more prevalent than ever, including a 17 percent year-over-year increase of number of airlines now offering the service. Additionally, major carriers such as Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines either have upgraded or are currently upgrading their systems to offer special features such as streaming services — all at a lower cost than before.

Fast Facts:
- 16  percent of connected available seat miles (ASM) worldwide offer Wi-Fi access that is capable of advanced media streaming that is comparable to a home connection (called “Best Wi-Fi”). This is a 129 percent increase from Routehappy’s 2017 report.

- 57 percent of connected ASM offer Wi-Fi access that is capable of full web browsing and limited media streaming (called “Better Wi-Fi”).

- 27 percent of connected ASM offer Wi-Fi access that is capable of basic web browsing and no media streaming capabilities (called “Basic Wi-Fi”).

- Eighty-two airlines around the world now offer in-flight Wi-Fi access.

- The 17 percent increase from last year’s report is represented by 12 additional airlines.

- U.S. airlines offer Wi-Fi access on 86 percent of their ASMs, including 85 percent that are fully rolled out. Meanwhile, non-U.S. airlines offer Wi-Fi access on 32 percent of their ASMs, which is an increase of 14 percent from the 2017 report.

- The top three airlines that offer the most ASMs with Wi-Fi access are Delta, American and Emirates, respectively.

- The only airlines that are Wi-Fi access on all of their flights are Icelandair, Southwest Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.

What They Are Saying:
“2017 was another progressive year for in-flight Wi-Fi, with a large increase in the amount of airlines that provide Wi-Fi access, on top of the growing availability of nearly half the available seat miles worldwide,” said Robert Albert, CEO of Routehappy. “The 129 percent growth of Best Wi-Fi is extraordinary, it shows the commitment airlines are making to best in class systems and we expect to see this number increase even more in 2018.”

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