In-Flight Wi-Fi, By the Numbers

Jan 21, 2017

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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Just a few years ago, having Wi-Fi at 35,000 feet was considered a luxury. Today, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion — at least it is for American travelers hitting the open skies. Let’s take a look at in-flight Wi-Fi, by the numbers:

83%: According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, 83% of all seats on US-based airlines are now equipped for in-flight Wi-Fi — up from 74% in 2015.

28%: The same article, which collected data from Routehappy — a site that rates and tracks airlines and their amenities — says your chances of finding Wi-Fi service when traveling with an international carrier drops significantly, to just 28%.

3 airlines: Routehappy reports just three airlines offer Wi-Fi on 100% of their available seat miles (ASMs): Icelandair, Virgin America and Scoot, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines. (Note that JetBlue recently shared the news that it’s rolled out Wi-Fi to its entire fleet as well.)

600 million: When it comes to Wi-Fi capabilities, Delta leads the pack, with more than 600 million of its ASMs ready to get you online (the airline recently equipped more than 66 million ASMs). United and Emirates filled out the second and third sports for most connected seat miles, respectively.

126 million: Though Emirates comes in third for Routehappy’s most connected airlines by total ASMs, it still tops the list for the biggest gain, having recently added 126 million Wi-Fi-ready seat miles. According to Condé Nast Traveler, this is due in part to the fact that the airline operates the largest fleet of Airbus A380s, the largest commercial aircraft. The carrier also tops Routehappy’s list for most Wi-Fi available on long-haul routes.

7 airlines: Routehappy’s 2017 survey concluded that seven airlines are now offering Wi-Fi on 100% of their long-haul flights: Delta, Etihad, Iberia, Icelandair, Lufthansa, Scoot and United.

7.2%: According to the Los Angeles Times, if you’re hoping to continue that Netflix binge-watch from your seat, you’re probably out of luck. Only 7.2% of airlines worldwide offer a strong enough signal to allow for in-flight streaming — though this number is increasing, albeit slowly; in 2015, only 6% of travelers could stream movies or video.

H/T: Routehappy

Featured image courtesy of Routehappy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.