When last updated 4 months ago, we were still expecting to have the two most important players, Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines, chime in on WiFi on Hawaii flights. The wait is over and today Alaska said “…experience high-speed, more reliable, and streaming-friendly Wi-Fi on all our planes to all destinations, including Hawai’i….”
Pressure Put on Hawaiian Airlines.
We expect to see Hawaiian Airlines announce satellite based WiFi very soon based on today’s news. Until then, Hawaiian will soon become the only airline not offering WiFi connectivity on many Hawaii flights.
Is WiFi a Good Thing on Hawaii Flights?
We’re not sure how we feel about this change, as in many ways we’ve always looked forward to five hours to sleep, read or do something other than remain perennially connected. And on the other hand, sometimes those five hours from the mainland could be a great way to finish last emails and close up shop before hitting the islands. So on to whether and when WiFi will be available on your Hawaii flights, and if so, at what cost?
Virgin America announced last year that all of their Hawaii flights now have WiFi (see below). Other carriers have over-water satellite based WiFi too, either already available or announced. Read on for those details.
WiFi coming to Hawaii Flights : The Details
We had spent a significant amount of time checking with the airlines as well as with the service providers themselves. Woefully little information about WiFi on flights to Hawaii could be obtained from any of these sources. Here’s what we know for now. If you have any further updates from your flights, please let us know in the comments below.
1. Virgin America. All flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Honolulu and Maui now have satellite based Via Sat WiFi. The cost for unlimited use during the entire flight is $17.99. Virgin America’s offerings will soon merge with those of parent company Alaska Airlines.
2. Hawaiian Airlines. Does not currently offer WiFi on flights to Hawaii. The company indicated in 2015 that it was evaluating the criteria of good economics, strong Pacific Ocean performance and adequacy of bandwidth. No further updates have been announced.
“Starting Fall 2018, experience high-speed, more reliable, and streaming-friendly Wi-Fi on all our planes to all destinations, including Hawai’i, Mexico, and Costa Rica.” In addition the company announced that they will offer “200+ free premium movies and TV shows on your own device when you fly on all our Alaska planes. Starting this August, we’ll also be adding this to Virgin America’s Red entertainment system (excluding new releases).
Alaska also offers free chat which will extend to Hawaii. That works with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and iMessage. This service is available on Alaska non Hawaii flights now and is coming to Virgin America planes in August.
We do not have any cost update for using Alaska’s new WiFi service. The current charge is $16 for an all-day pass.
4. American Airlines. Offers satellite based WiFi but we were unable to confirm its availability or pricing to/from Hawaii. We have heard the cost ranges from $12 for two hours to $19 for the full flight.
5. Delta Airlines. Delta is aggressively rolling out satellite based Wifi across its fleet. That will include flights to Hawaii. They will be first to complete a large fleet roll-out, which should be accomplished shortly. The cost of a Delta global day pass is $28.
6. United Airlines. The company indicates on their WiFi page that the price will vary and that over water satellite service is available on select aircraft. We do know that at least some of their flights to Hawaii offer WiFi.
Are you ready to pay $15 to $20 for Wi-Fi on Hawaii Flights?
Please let us know your thoughts and read others comments on Hawaii flights WiFi below.