Inflight WiFi

Technology has evolved so rapidly in the past 15 years and today we are able to stay connected at 35,000 feet on commercial airlines. One of my latest flights blew me away. While enroute from Los Angeles to Taipei on EVA Air over the Pacific I was able to connect to the internet and hold a FaceTime video conference call with my family. Simply amazing! My 1st flight with WiFi was with Virgin America back in 2008. Most airlines block voice and video conferencing traffic but there are always ways around those blockers (ex. VPN). If you must be connected while inflight you might be in luck! Most airlines have limited planes with inflight WiFi so be careful when booking flights if this is a desired amenity. Here are my firsthand experiences with some airlines:

Airline (WiFi Provider)

Virgin America (GoGo): Reasonably priced, fast connection (similar to DSL), speed improvements to occur this year, monthly plans available if you travel weekly, coverage throughout most flight routes, fleet wide availability

Southwest (Row44): Cheap, slow speeds, iMessage only option is just $2 (no picture/video messaging, just iMessage text), gate-to-gate coverage which is a nice touch

SWA $2 iMessage Option

SWA $2 iMessage Option

Singapore Airlines (OnAir): Expensive at $1/MB, slow speeds, coverage can be spotty

SQ Limited Coverage (Grey=No Coverage)

SQ Limited Coverage (Grey=No Coverage)

EVA Air (T-Mobile): Cheap for a long haul international flight at $21.95 for unlimited usage, fast connection, coverage was solid, no blocker for FaceTime in place as of June 2014

BR $21.95 24hr Pass

BR $21.95 24hr Pass

As always, I will stay connected 🙂

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1 Response

  1. July 20, 2016

    […] months amongst multiple airlines and aircraft around the world. It’s come a long way since my last post in 2014. For a reference, typical speeds of your cell phone while on 3G is ~1Mbps and on 4G LTE is […]

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