Emirates has restructured its in-flight wifi offering, doubling the amount of free data for economy passengers and non-Skywards members to 20MB.

Skywards Platinum and Gold members now get unlimited data usage throughout the flight, regardless of class of travel, while all Skywards members travelling in first and business class also get free usage.

There are a few points to note with the new structure:

  • The 20MB of free data must be used with the first two hours of logging on
  • Additional usage is now charged between $4.99 and $9.99 for 150MB of data, and between $7.99 and $15.99 for 500MB, depending on the passenger’s Skywards membership tier level (see table below)
  • This is a sharp increase from the previous charge of $1 for 500MB of data (after the previous 10MB had been used up)
  • Non-Skywards members travelling in first or business class still only get the 20MB of free data, so it’s worth joining the scheme (in advance of travel) to benefit from the unlimited data in premium classes

Emirates said that “The doubling to 20MB of free data will suit customers who are light wifi users looking to send short messages to their families and friends, or check their social media accounts while flying”, while “Business travellers or more heavy users of inflight wifi will have the flexibility to purchase additional data packages as needed”.

The carrier added that wifi services are now available on over 200 of its aircraft, “and it is a service that Emirates continues to subsidise heavily”.