The State of In-Flight Wifi: The Sky’s the Limit


in flight wifiRecently, RouteHappy, a flight search site that helps users determine which flights have wifi on them, published some interesting facts about the current state of wifi on planes. If you are a frequent flyer, you might be interested to know where we are now with wifi access on planes, and where we are headed.

Long story short: more and more airlines are offering in-flight wifi and this trend is increasing exponentially. Read below for some more details about flying and wifi and how to keep your communications secure in the sky.

Domestic Flights and Wifi

Currently, 38% of domestic flights offer their customers wifi access. Another 9% of flights are going to have wifi in the next year or two.

The airlines with the most daily flights that have wifi include Delta (3,443), Southwest (2,320), and US Airways (1,293).

Virgin America and AirTran have wifi enabled on 100% of their domestic fleet. Southwest is close behind with 74%.

If you’re flying from New York to San Francisco or Los Angeles, you are most likely will have wifi access. 80% of these flights are most likely to have wifi offered on them, leading the pack.

Another important factor of using in-flight wifi is having enough battery power to last the entire flight. Some airlines are installing power outlets in each seat to solve this problem. Delta again leads the way with 580 daily flights with both power outlets and wifi, and American is close behind with 515.

International Flights and Wifi

International flights are more of a mixed bag in terms of wifi access. This is in part because wifi access may vary from country to country, so some flights only have intermittent access.

Right now, only 7% of international flights leaving from the U.S. have full-flight wifi access, which comes out to 279 flights daily. This includes 214 flights that are currently rolling out wifi access. Currently, United and Lufthansa offer the most international flights with full-flight wifi access.

The international routes that are most likely to have wifi access include Lufthansa flights to Munich and Frankfort (30%), and shorter flights to Montreal and Toronto (25%).

Airline Wifi Security

As more and more air travelers begin to see wifi access as something necessary, more and more airlines have begun to offer it on flights. We think this is a good trend, but remember, an in-flight wifi network is just like any other public wifi: completely open and insecure. The friendly skies may not be so friendly.

Only a VPN protects all of your sensitive information. A VPN, like PRIVATE WiFi, encrypts the data moving to and from your laptop and protects all of your Internet communication from being intercepted by others. Even 35,000 feet above the ground. For more information, check out our recent article “In-Flight Wifi: Why You’re Totally Exposed Every Time You Connect.”

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Kent Lawson

Kent Lawson is the CEO & Chairman of Private Communications Corporation and creator of its flagship software PRIVATE WiFi. He combined his extensive business and technical experience to develop PRIVATE WiFi in 2010. The software is an easy-to-use Virtual Private Network (VPN) that protects your sensitive personal information whenever you’re connected to a public WiFi network. Follow Kent on Twitter: @KentLawson.

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