Lonely Planet Writer

These are the airlines most likely to have a Wi-Fi connection, according to a new report

Frequent fliers around the world have a 39% chance of getting on a plane with Wi-Fi, an 8% increase from last year, according to a report from RouteHappy.

More planes have Wi-Fi. airline Wi-Fi
More planes have Wi-Fi. Image by mother / Getty Images

The company analysed airlines around the world to find where Wi-Fi is readily available to passengers, and it turns out flying in America gives travellers the best shot at getting connected at 35,000 feet. A traveller’s chance of getting internet on a US flight is up to 83% – but that number plunges to only 28% on carriers outside the US. The percentages in the report are based on the Wi-Fi-equipped available seat miles (ASM), which is a measure of the number of seats multiplied by the number of miles flown.

The leading airlines for providing Wi-Fi by total ASMs are Delta and United, with Wi-Fi installed on every single aircraft larger than 50-seat regional jets. The top 10 airlines around the world for providing Wi-Fi are: Delta, United, Emirates, American, Southwest, Lufthansa, Etihad, Qatar, JetBlue and Singapore Airlines.

Noting that many airlines are shifting from basic Wi-Fi to much faster connections, RouteHappy is already expecting the availability of Wi-Fi to increase through 2017. And while US airlines are well set up with Wi-Fi, there are some other airlines that are better equipped for long-haul flights. The top 10 airlines for offering Wi-Fi on long-haul flights are: Emirates, United, Lufthansa, Delta, Etihad, American, Qatar, Singapore, Turkish and Aeroflot.

However, while internet accessibility is one thing, there is also the issue of speed. The report notes that some of the Wi-Fi is quite basic. But more and more airlines are recognising the importance of high-speed connections, such as JetBlue, which has just announced a connection fast enough to stream video will be available on all flights. Several major airlines like British Airways, Air France, KLM, Finnair, and Qantas, have commitments to adopt ‘best-in-class’ Wi-Fi, but have yet to actually implement the systems across their fleets. 

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