There’s good news for travelers who want to tweet, write emails or watch YouTube from 30,000 feet. Dubai-based airline Emirates announced a $20 million investment to equip its entire fleet with Wi-Fi connectivity, and that the service will be free to all passengers. Currently, Wi-Fi is available on all of the airline’s 53 Airbus A380s and on 28 of its Boeing 777s, which serve routes across six continents. Emirates flyers can get online free for the first 10 MBs of data, which the airline says is enough to satisfy most email, social media and light web surfing needs. For the next whopping 600 MBs of data, customers have to pay a nominal $1 fee.

It’s a smart move by Emirates, especially as travelers are seeking in-flight Wi-Fi access more than ever. According to a July survey by Honeywell, 66 percent of passengers said that in-flight Wi-Fi availability influenced their flight selection. And 85 percent of respondents said they would use W-Fi on most or all flights if it was free.

There’s only one U.S. airline that offers free Internet access in the sky: JetBlue, which follows a model similar to the Middle Eastern carrier. Its “Fly-Fi” service is available on all of the airline’s Airbus A321s and 65 percent of its A320s, and JetBlue is continuing to outfit the rest of its fleet. It’s free to use the basic web browsing plan, called Simply Surf, but passengers can boost their access for bandwidth-heavy applications for $9/hour.

But if you’re not flying these two carriers, you can still get online. You’ll just have to pay. More and more airlines are jumping on the Wi-Fi bandwagon, but pricing, which can run by hour or by day, varies wildly. While both Emirates and JetBlue are outfitting their planes with their own connections, many airlines employ the services of a company called Gogo, which provides in-flight broadband services for more than 2,000 planes flying for Delta, Virgin America, American, United and others. And it’s not always cheap: A day pass can run up to $35.

If you want to save, travel blogger Chris McGinnis suggests pre-purchasing a Gogo day pass for $16 from 

Travel site eDreams rounds up all the airlines in the world currently offering in-flight Wi-Fi and their pricing policies here. Just remember, Wi-Fi at 30,000 feet in the air is probably never going to be as fast or as reliable as what you can expect on the ground. 

airlines-with-inflight-wifi More and more airlines are adding in-flight Wi-Fi services. Photo: eDreams

Here’s a roundup of what U.S. carriers offer:

Alaska Airlines 

Available: “On almost all aircraft operating in the lower 48 states” through Gogo Inflight

Cost: $1.95 - $39.95

American Airlines 

Available: “On nearly all flights within the U.S.” through Gogo Inflight

Cost: $12 - $49.95 (monthly pass)

Delta Air Lines

Available: On select flights within the continental U.S. through Gogo Inflight

Cost: $1.95 - $49.95 (monthly pass)

Frontier Airlines

Available: Only on Embraer 90 aircraft through Gogo Inflight

Cost: $5 - $49.95 (monthly pass)

Hawaiian Airlines

Available: No


Available: Plans to equip its entire fleet

Cost: Free for basic service, $9/hour for more bandwidth


Available: Plans to equip its entire fleet

Cost: $8/day per device

Spirit Airlines

Available: No


Available: Currently through Gogo Inflight on transcontinental flights in the U.S., but it is currently working to equip its fleet, including planes that fly internationally, with satellite-based Wi-Fi

Cost: $5 - $49.95 (monthly pass)

US Airways 

Available: On 90 percent of fleet, available in continental U.S. through Gogo Inflight

Cost: $14 - $39.95

Virgin America

Available: On entire fleet through Gogo Inflight

Cost: $2 - $49.95 (monthly pass)