Air Canada Offers Free Wi-Fi to Elites, Gives Long-Haul Fleet Faster Speeds
Air Canada shared the details of a couple of improvements to its inflight Wi-Fi experience Tuesday. Before the end of 2018, the airline will offer free Gogo Wi-Fi to its top two tiers of frequent flyers. Altitude Elite 75K and Super Elite 100K members will receive either six- or 12-month unlimited use passes (respectively) for internet on board Air Canada operated flights. Plus, the airline will be equipping its entire long-haul fleet with faster 2Ku service.
While the top two tiers of Air Canada elites will be able to connect for free, Prestige 25K, Elite 35K and Elite 50K members will still have to pay for internet access. Air Canada says that it will offer tiered packages — prices will be based on usage time, rather than being capped at a specific amount of data.
Although Air Canada has comfortable seats and solid amenities, many TPG reviewers have panned the airline for not offering Wi-Fi. However, that'll soon be changing — the airline's 25 Boeing 777s will have 2Ku Wi-Fi service by summer 2018, its 30 787 Dreamliners will see it by November 2018 and the airline's eight A330s will receive the new tech by the end of 2018. Back in May, the airline's low-cost arm Air Canada Rouge said it would be installing 2Ku service on its A319s, A320s and Boeing 767s by the end of 2018. In-flight internet provider Gogo says that 2Ku will deliver speeds up to 100 Mbps and that its 20 times faster than its first generation air-to-ground service.
Air Canada claims it's the "first North American airline to offer the choice of complimentary Gogo Wi-Fi to [its] most frequent flyers." While this technically may be true, other airlines already offer flyers free Wi-Fi — JetBlue provides free Wi-Fi to all its flyers with a TrueBlue account, which is free to join. Budget carrier Norwegian also offers free internet on almost all its routes.