This weeks Fabulous Friday is about select airlines that offer their First Class passengers complimentary access to their on board internet system.
The way airlines handles this is usually by distributing vouchers to eligible passengers that are good for a limited amount data volume or connection time.
While this sounds great and should be a ‘no brainer’ that First Class passengers get free internet it has to be highlighted that airlines which offer this benefit are actually the exception as most require all their passengers to purchase internet access regardless of their class of service.
The first airline that provided me with complimentary internet vouchers was Qatar Airways that was good for a 3 hour connection, however I was able to get a second one from the crew.
Another airline that supplied free internet vouchers was Thai Airways on a flight from Tokyo to Bangkok. The vouchers they had were actually ridiculous to say the least as the allowed data volume was barely enough to download a few emails with attachments, let alone do any serious work or even leisurely web browsing.
John flew them recently and mentioned that he was able to get multiple internet vouchers from the crew in First Class.
Why an airline would offer their First Class passengers such ridiculous allowance for online connections is beyond me. 20 MB vouchers are just ridiculous.
Should your airline not provide such coupons or you find yourself in Business/Economy class then it’s a good idea to look out for carriers that offer reasonable prices for on board Internet.
Two such examples are Lufthansa and Japan Airlines, both of which are using T-Mobile. They offer different data plans including a flat rate for the entire flight, priced at 18 USD. Emirates also has a very affordable and reliable That’s a very reasonable amount compared to some airlines like Singapore Airlines where you’re being charged ridiculous rates based on used data volume.
Last month John wrote about Turkish Airlines where Elite and Elite Plus members now receive complimentary internet on board (see here).
Airlines really should invest the little extra money to offer their First Class passengers complimentary internet throughout the flight. For Business Class there should be at least a voucher for 3-4 hours online connectivity.
At least most carriers offer an internet connection these days. Even Cathay Pacific and British Airways are now in the process of equipping their fleet with the required technology. While it’s not absolutely necessary to go online on a flight I’d still like to have the option in case there is something really urgent. Especially on airlines such as Lufthansa that are known for their absolutely horrible inflight entertainment selection the internet option is a very welcome alternative.