Singapore Airlines Introduces Free Wifi For Premium Passengers (With A Catch)

While there are many areas in which Singapore Airlines offers an industry leading experience, their onboard wifi offering isn’t one of them. Many of their planes don’t have wifi, while other planes have slow and expensive wifi. For example, with the exception of Singapore’s single new A380, the rest of their A380s feature OnAir wifi, which is both outrageously expensive and slow. A few years back there was a story of someone being charged $1,200 for their wifi use on a single flight.

The good news is that they’re starting to improve on this front. Singapore Airlines’ new A380, featuring their new Suites and business class, has faster and more reasonably priced wifi. For example, a 500MB wifi pass will cost you 29.99 USD, and at the moment they even have a promotion for 19.99 USD. That’s a great deal, especially when you consider how fast the wifi on the plane is.

In terms of price, Singapore Airlines’ new 777-300ERs are even better, as you can buy wifi for the entire flight for 21.95 USD, with no data caps.

Singapore-Wifi-2

That’s not the only improvement they’re making to onboard wifi, though. Singapore Airlines has announced that they’ll offer free wifi to Suites, first class, and business class passengers, as well as PPS Club members. This benefit applies on wifi equipped A380s, A350s, and 777-300ERs.

However, don’t get too excited, as you won’t be enjoying unlimited wifi. Instead the data caps are quite low:

  • Suites and first class customers can enjoy 100MB of free wifi
  • Business class and PPS Club members (traveling in premium economy or economy) can enjoy 30MB of free wifi

The process of taking advantage of the free wifi is easy, as you’ll just need to log-in with your last name and seat number via the “Complimentary Access” section of the wifi portal.

I appreciate that Singapore Airlines is making a real improvement here, though the caps are quite low. 30MB won’t get you much more than a few texts and checking your social media and email. 100MB is a bit better, but won’t last you that long.

Many people say “it’s ridiculous that airlines don’t offer free wifi in premium cabins.” While I mostly agree, keep in mind that:

  • Bandwidth on planes is extremely limited, so there’s something to be said for charging for it so that the speeds are decent
  • I want to do everything I can to encourage airlines to invest in onboard wifi, and they’re less likely to install it if they can’t directly make money off of it, and they know premium passengers are the most likely to pay

I commend Singapore Airlines for this step in the right direction on the wifi front!

(Tip of the hat to Mlee888)

Comments

  1. I believe that they set the caps too low maybe because, they believe that if the hook the premium pax with the low data caps they’re more probable to keep them using the wifi.

  2. I think that for the number of flights I fly every month paying $69/month for Gogo to have unlimited access on all Delta flights is a pretty good deal. Having internet on a 9 hour flight from Europe to the US is fantastic.

  3. This strikes me as such an obvious market demand that I’m amazed the technology isn’t there internationally.

    It was especially frustrating using OnAir on my recent Suites trip as the internet was slow and ludicrously expensive. My connecting JetBlue flight had -free- internet that was highspeed, and in 2017 that’s the standard I expect.

  4. Recently flew on China Airlines A350 business class (SYD to TPE). They offered FREE Wifi to all business class passengers without any data caps as long as you are signed up to their Dynasty program (important to complete the redemption on their website before the flight). The A350 business class seats are identical to the B 777 seats you reviewed. Connectivity and speed were excellent throughout the flight. Its sad that an airline as good as SIA can’t provide something similar!

  5. SQ had wifi on its 747’s at least 15 years ago and took it out. I’ve never understood why.
    Can anyone explain?

  6. @ Tony: SQ didn’t voluntarily take out wifi in those 747s. It used Boeing’s Connexion service, which shut down in 2006.

  7. In that case, kudos to Turkish Airlines to offer free Wi-Fi with no data caps to all business class passengers AND those with their FF elite status. The speed wasn’t bad either for mail checking and uploading photos online.

  8. Hey Ben – I’m currently on an SIA A350 flight from SIN to SFO. I used my Boingo account to access the wifi service. My Boingo plan is the one from Amex. Do you know if my inflight wifi is comp, or is it being charged to my Amex card? I know it’s comp on the ground but I’ve never used Boingo to access inflight wifi before…

  9. Hi there, i Just flew SQ business from SG to IAH and they have removed the price plan for entire flight. Now available is only 30, 60 and 100 Mb plans!

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