This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Commercial airlines are increasingly providing customers with fast ViaSat in-flight satellite Wi-Fi, and soon the US government will as well. ViaSat Wi-Fi will soon be installed on Air Force One and other ‘VIP and special air mission aircraft.’ This means that the President, Vice President, Secretary of State and other high-level government officials and their staff will be connected to the same satellite network as passengers on United, JetBlue, Virgin America and American Airlines (in 2017).

Other government aircraft have been using ViaSat for several years, and the connection will certainly be secure for government use — but it’s still amazing that high-level government business will be conducted over the same satellites that everyday commercial passengers are connected to.

Air Force Two, known internally as a C-32, is the Vice President’s aircraft. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

The $73 million contract was awarded to ViaSat because of its innovative hybrid Ku-/Ka-band connection which allows for automatic switching between satellites with different on-board tech. This ensures that the aircraft will always be connected to the strongest available network. Senior government officials and their staff can expect ‘a Situation Room in the Sky’ experience, meaning they will be able stream HD video for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, en-route command and control, search and rescue missions and many other functions critical to government operations.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.