Smart traveller: Staying connected

2 May 2018 by Valerian Ho
Casually dressed middle aged man working on laptop in aircraft cabin during his business travel. Shallow depth of field photo with focus on businessman eye.

For some travellers, the advent of in-flight wifi is seen as a curse – the death of a once-legitimate excuse to escape emails and disconnect for a while.

For others (60 per cent according to the European Aviation Network’s annual survey) it is now seen as a necessity. Then again, in an informal online poll of Business Traveller readers, only 19 per cent of respondents said they actually purchase wifi during a flight.

Perhaps this is because offering a strong internet connection at a competitive price is something airlines are still working out.

Regardless of your position, one thing’s for sure: in-flight wifi is here to stay.

Here we look at the wifi packages currently available on Asia-Pacific’s biggest carriers.

Airline Wifi plan Aircraft/Routes
Air China Free Mainly A330 and B777-200
Air Asia • 3MB: US$2
• 10MB: US$5
Select Air Asia flights with the AK code
ANA 30 min/15MB: US$4.95
• 1 hr/30MB: US$8.95
• Full flight/100MB: US$19.95
B777-300ER and B767-300ER (202-seat configuration)
• 30 min: US$6.95
• 3 hr: US$16.95
• Full flight: US$21.95
B787-9, A320neo, B787-8 (240-seat configuration)
Asiana • 1 hr: US$11.95
• 3 hrs: US$16.95
• Full flight: US$21.95
Cathay Pacific • 1 hr: US$9.95
• Full flight (<6 hrs): US$12.95
• Full flight (>6 hrs): US$19.95
China Airlines • 1 hr: US$12
• 3 hrs: US$17
• 24 hrs: US$22
B777-300ER, A350
*No data limit
China Eastern • Currently in trial stage, available free for first 100 passengers per flight to register Shanghai to JFK, SFO, LAX, ORD, YYZ, YVR (other destinations on select flights)
China Southern • Currently in free trial stage, economy passengers must pre-apply From Guangzhou to SYD/MEL/AMS/BNE/SHA/PEK and Beijing to AMS
EVA Air • 1 hr: US$11.95
• 3 hrs: US$16.95
• 24 hrs: US$21.95
B777-300ER, A330-300
Garuda Indonesia • 20MB: US$5
• 1 hr: US$11.95
• 3 hrs: US$16.95
• 24 hrs: US$21.95
*Free for first class
• 30 min/15MB: US$5
• 1 hr/30MB: US$11.95
• 3 hrs/50MB: US$16.95
• Full flight/100MB: US$21.95
*Free for first class
Hainan Airlines Free B787-9
Japan Airlines • 1 hr: US$10.15
• 3 hrs: US$14.4
• 24 hrs: US$18.8
International routes; free for first class
Free on all domestic routes for all classes
Malaysia Airlines • 8MB: US$1 • 20MB: US$5 • 150MB: US$20 A350
Philippine Airlines • 30 min/15MB: Free
• 35MB: US$5
• 150MB: US$20
Flights with myPal
Qantas Free Domestic B737 and A330 only
Singapore Airlines • 15MB: US$6.99
• 30MB: US$12.99
• 50MB: US$19.99
All A380 and select B777-300ER
* Free 100MB for Suites and first class, 30MB for business and PPS Club members
• 1 hr: US$11.95
• 3 hrs: US$16.95
• 24 hrs: US$21.95
All A350 and select B777-300ER
* Free 100MB for Suites and first class, 30MB for business and PPS Club members
Thai Airways • 10MB:US$4.99
• 20MB:US$8.99
• 30MB: US$12.99
• 100MB: US$34.99
A380, and select A330-300
• 20MB: US$6.99
• 30MB: US$9.99
• 50MB: US$14.99
• 100MB: US$19.99
A350, B787
Xiamen Air Free B787 to AMS, SYD, MEL, YVR, SEA, JFK, LAX *Must be requested before flight
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