Why in-flight WiFi will only get better

Fliers want cheap, reliable WiFi, and airlines are starting to deliver.

Singdhi Sokpo

Between delays, cancellations, and inflated ticket prices, flying hasn’t been easy this year.

One silver lining is the WiFi, which is getting faster and cheaper, per The Wall Street Journal.

In-flight WiFi…

… was introduced by Boeing in 2001, and has driven passengers crazy ever since. There are two ways to get connected at 30k feet: cell towers on the ground, or satellites in the sky.

  • Satellite coverage is faster and more reliable, but expensive, leading airlines to upgrade fleets plane by plane.
  • This causes unpredictable experiences — like a Delta passenger who paid $5 for WiFi on one flight, then $29.95 on another.

But there’s good news

More airlines are upgrading to satellite internet and switching from dynamic pricing to a flat rate. With SpaceX’s Starlink entering the market, the extra competition should lead to even lower prices.

Hopefully the end result is all airlines offering WiFi for the same price as JetBlue — free.

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