In-Flight Wi-Fi, By the Numbers
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.