Just a few weeks ago, Cathay Pacific unveiled some positive changes to their first and business class soft product, including new bedding and dining.
Cathay Pacific’s new first class dining
Well, the airline has now made yet another positive change to their first class service.
Cathay Pacific Adds Free First Class Wifi
Effective immediately, Cathay Pacific is offering free wifi to first class passengers. First class passengers will be given a code for the free wifi upon boarding on eligible flights.
Cathay Pacific is working on installing wifi throughout their fleet, and as of now, 20 of their 31 planes featuring first class have wifi (all of these are 777-300ERs).
In general Cathay Pacific’s new wifi offering is excellent. They’re installing Gogo 2Ku technology. Cathay Pacific’s wifi pricing is reasonable to begin with, as they charge $10 for one hour, $13 for up to six hours, and $20 for the entire flight. All of those plans come with no data caps.
While I’d be very happy paying $20 for wifi with no data caps on a long haul flight, It’s even nicer when wifi is complimentary.
Why Isn’t Wifi Always Free In Premium Cabins?
One common question I get is why wifi isn’t always free in first and business class. After all, if you’re spending thousands of dollars on a ticket, many people view it as cheap to be charged for wifi.
The answer is simple — wifi is provided by a third party, so the airline would have to pay to offer free wifi (presumably at some discounted cost, but still).
I imagine most airlines assume that those traveling in business and first class can expense inflight wifi, or otherwise don’t view paying for wifi as a big deal, so it’s not much of a value-add.
With airlines typically having very limited budgets for premium amenities, most airlines assume they can invest better elsewhere. I’m not saying I agree with the logic, but that is the thought process of many airline executives.
Then again, it’s only a matter of time before that changes. JetBlue already offers free high speed wifi to all passengers, and with other airlines working towards that, free wifi on planes may eventually become a reality, just as it has everywhere else in the world.